Susan Eng, CARP VP of Advocacy, emphasized that CARP members are concerned about the proposed changes and “that the government should look harder, elsewhere for savings that they are proposing to find here.”
CARP’s position on the pending OAS changes has since been reinforced by multiple expert reports. A report released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer states that the OAS will continue to be sustainable for generations to come. Moreover, according to the official Actuarial Report on OAS, Canada will spend 2.47% of GDP for both OAS and GIS as of 2013. Accounting for inflation and the demographic changes, the percentage of GDP spent on OAS and GIS will only grow by 0.69% by 2030, for a total of 3.16% of GDP. By 2040, it is projected that the percentage will again decrease to 2.93% of GDP.
The general consensus of the consultation was that there is little justification for changing OAS. For many older Canadians, a small change to the OAS will be deeply felt, especially by those who are in greater financial need.
CARP will be in Ottawa again next week, watching closely for any impending changes to OAS in the coming Federal Budget. The government has not actually detailed what it intends to do but has not denied that it plans to increase the age of eligibility for OAS. After weeks of sustained attention, the government has not signaled any change to its position but we anticipate that they will announce some measure to address the potential impact on low income pre-retirees who would not be able to delay receiving their OAS for two more years. This problem will persist no matter how long they take to bring the change into force since there will always be a persistent percentage that will need this income support at the end of their working careers. The silence from the provinces – which would otherwise have to pick up the slack – suggests that this could be the case.