Canadians are living longer, so the Harper Conservatives say they should also be working longer.
This is the attitude they’re taking by changing the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) from 65 to 67 in the latest federal budget released March 29. As the baby boom generation ages, the Harper government projects the cost of the OAS program will grow from $38 billion in 2011 to $108 billion in 2030.
The OAS program provides benefits to most Canadians who are 65-years-old and up. It is distributed based on income and the maximum OAS pension is $6,481 per year.
In total, the OAS program provides benefits to approximately 4.9 million Canadians.
The age of eligibility increase will start in April 2023 and will be gradually implemented by January 2029. This means workers 55 or older will not face any changes to the benefits they receive. The government is doing this so that people have 11 years to plan for their retirement.
Eligibility for federal benefit programs through departments like Veteran Affairs Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, which provide benefits to people until 65, will also change along with the OAS model.
The age change for OAS eligibility does not impact benefits provided by the Canada Pension Plan.