Budget 2021 has helped to strengthen the financial security of Canadians later in life.
It announced two important measures. In August 2021, we will issue a one-time $500 payment directly to seniors aged 75+ as of June 2022.
Then in July 2022, we will permanently increase the Old Age Security pension by 10 per cent for seniors aged 75+. That’s worth $766 over the first year to pensioners receiving the full benefit and helps 3.3 million seniors.
It’s targeted at older seniors who are more financially challenged and who are worried about outliving their savings.
As they age, seniors face more health issues. Their healthcare expenses rise due to illness or disability: on average out-of-pocket health expenses of those aged 80+ are over $700 a year higher than those aged 65-74. At the same time, most older seniors can no longer supplement their income with paid work. Few seniors work beyond age 75, and those that do have median earnings of only $720 a year.
The passing of spouses adds to the pressure. Among seniors, almost twice as many over age 75 are widows. And with women, on average living longer than men, it’s no wonder many senior women slip into poverty after the hardship of losing their life partners.
To help secure older seniors’ finances, the Liberal government is making the first permanent increase to Old Age Security since 1973, other than adjustments due to inflation.
It builds on our strong record of supporting seniors of all ages. For the youngest seniors, we restored the age of eligibility for OAS to 65 after the Harper Conservatives raised it to 67. We also strengthened the Canada Pension Plan for future retirees, increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors and reduced income taxes for all Canadians.
Our work is showing results: the latest data shows 11 per cent fewer seniors live in poverty than when we took office in 2015.
Taken together, our ambitious and progressive measures are making a real difference for seniors’ financial security, and there is more work to do. Canadian seniors can always count on Liberals to listen, understand their needs and work hard to deliver for them(Deb Schulte, Canada’s Minister of Seniors).