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February 02, 2022

Is the retirement age going up, no matter what?

Just a few days after Prime Minister Harper's promise/threat to rework the federal retirement income system by monkeying with Old Age Security, the Conservative government seems to be moving into damage control. Who can blame them?


The government's opponents are having a field day mauling such a backhanded attempt to balance the budget.

NDP finance critic Peter Julian has been the most vocal, arguing the Conservatives would rather spend millions on fighter jets and prisons rather than support Canadian seniors.

Posturing aside though, if Harper's government was to announce next month that the age at which people will be eligible for OAS was going to increase from 65 to 67 over the next 15 years or so, would you take to the streets?

I doubt it.

First off, if you're in your 50s, such a change wouldn't really make any difference to you. And, if you're  much younger than that, the whole thing is so far away that ... it wouldn't really make any difference to you.

But as seniors live longer, fertility rates decline, and the ratio of working taxpayer to retired senior continues to shrink, it is going to happen. Just as it has in the U.S. -- and in the U.K. as well.

It's all a question of generational fairness, argues UBC prof Kevin Milligan: "If generational fairness demands an equal lifetime total flow of benefits to each generation, then it makes sense to reconsider whether the line we draw between the work and retired parts of life ought to remain forever pinned to age 65."

What do you think: Is such a change fair to all or are the Conservatives turning their backs on the very people that elected them?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...