October 19, 2012:
While CARP members themselves are generally comfortable, many have experienced extreme poverty in the past or know someone who has, and they see value in steps which the government can take to prevent this.
Two thirds of members live as a couple, say they are financially comfortable and are relatively unworried about the future. Living alone concerns them, and it is the cost, the lack of companionship and the need for eventual medical assistance which concerns them the most.
A significant minority know someone who has experienced extreme poverty and destitution (if not themselves) and many have had to access capital to pay bills. A significant minority also find Canada’s treatment of single poor women a national disgrace or worse, while one half see it as a serious problem requiring immediate attention. One third say the delay in OAS and GIS will negatively impact themselves or someone they know.
On average, members say about 30% of their retirement income is comprised of CPP and OAS, and two thirds would have taken a modest pay cut in return for a workplace pension, which they would expect to feature matching employer contributions.
Most members say they are neither better nor worse off since the recession began, and most say they (and Canada) are getting neither worse nor better economically. More, however, think we are in recovery now than think we are in recession.