COVID-19 has hit Canada’s seniors with a slew of out-of-pocket expenses, from premiums on groceries to triple the cost for dispensing fees on prescription medications.
On top of this, stock markets have taken a plunge and many people have seen significant declines in their retirement savings.
CARP is urging the federal government to address the financial concerns of seniors by implementing the following:
- Waive mandatory RRIF withdrawals in 2020. View the campaign page
- For 2020 tax year, eliminate withholding tax on RRSP withdrawals and allow two years to repay tax owing
- Follow through with commitment to increase OAS and CPP
Here is a digest of some of our recent media coverage on this issue:
Ordered starting with most recent:
- Seniors need more than one-time top-ups if coronavirus pandemic lingers: advocates
- VIDEO CLIP: CARP comments on supports announced on May 12
- AUDIO CLIP: CARP on what more needs to be done to support seniors during COVID-19
- VIDEO CLIP: CARP explains the difficult financial decisions seniors are being forced to make due to increased costs
- AUDIO CLIP: CARP’s Chief Policy Officer, Marissa Lennox, paints the full picture of how seniors are struggling during COVID-19, and why short-term payments aren’t enough to provide relief
- VIDEO CLIP: CARP continues to call for retirement security protections for its members
- VIDEO CLIP: CARP responds to increased financial supports with demand for longer-term solutions to help seniors during pandemic
- EVERYTHING ZOOMER: COVID-19: Finally, Trudeau Announces Assistance for Low-Income Seniors. But Is It Enough?
- CARP comments on additional financial supports for seniors announcement
- CARP recently appeared in the Toronto Star, commenting on the need for increased financial assistance for our Members during the pandemic.
Excerpt from the article:
“We’ve seen a lot of direct handouts to Canadians and not much to seniors,” said Marissa Lennox, chief policy officer at CARP. While older Canadians who are out of the workforce may have escaped the brunt… of the economic shutdowns that have cost millions of others their jobs, they too have suffered the fallout, Lennox said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that targeted help for seniors was on the way, and Lennox‘s organization is pressing the federal government for assistance on several fronts. To help seniors cope with the stock market roller-coaster that eroded retirement savings, the organization wants… the government to waive required withdrawals from registered retirement income funds (RRIF). The government has already lowered the required withdrawals by 25 per cent, but Lennox said it should go further.”We’ve urged the government to suspend mandatory RRIF withdrawals this year in order to protect the financial security of seniors,” she said. To help Canadians with cash flow,… the organization is backing a suggestion to temporarily eliminate the withholding tax on RRSP withdrawals. The tax would not apply as long as the contributions were repaid at some point in the future, Lennox said. That would provide seniors – and others – a source of money to help get them through lean times.
To cover higher out-of-pocket expenses, such as grocery deliveries and drug dispensing fees, Lennox is urging the government to increase Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan benefits. In… last year’s election, the Liberals promised a 10 per cent boost to OAS at age 75 and a 25 per cent increase to CPP benefits for widows.