Retirement income 'steps' coming in budget, Finley says
Minister says Old Age Security changes won't affect current seniors, but defers to budget for details
The federal government is continuing to slowly reveal its changes to Canada's retirement income system, with Human Resources Minister Diane Finley making a major speech Tuesday but providing no new details to Canadians clamouring for information.
Finley confirmed what Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said earlier this month: there will be more details in the 2012 budget, but any changes won't affect anyone who's 65 and over now.
The budget is expected to come sometime in March, but Flaherty hasn't announced a date yet.
The government has also said the changes won't affect anyone eligible for Old Age Security in the next few years.
In her speech, Finley outlined the problems of an aging population and fewer workers in relation to the number of retired Canadians.
In 2011, there were about four working Canadians for every retired Canadian. By 2030, it will be a two to one ratio. At the same time, Canadians are living four years longer than they did in 1970.
But for those seeking more information as they plan their retirements, Finley said she didn't have anything.
"Although policy hasn’t yet been announced, I can tell you that the upcoming budget will ensure steps to protect retirement income," she said in the speech.
One option would be for the government to change the age at which people qualify to collect OAS, raising it from 65 to 67.
Opposition MPs say changing the OAS will affect the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which goes to the poorest seniors, and that the government is trying to balance its budget on the backs of the country's most vulnerable citizens.