Posted: Monday, 30 January 2012
Ken Georgetti's letter on Prime Minister Harper's announcement to change Old Age Security as published in The Globe and Mail, Saturday, January 28, 2012
Raising the age of eligibility for Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits is the worst possible way to deal with our retirement income security crisis. Experts project that one half of all middle-income baby boomers face a severe cut to their living standards in old age. This is due to falling employer pension coverage (down to 25 per cent in the private sector), rising household debt combined with low savings, and the big hit to fend-for-yourself RRSPs which comes from high fees and low returns.
The right way to deal with this looming crisis is to expand the Canada Pension Plan now to raise incomes for seniors in the future. Phasing in an expanded CPP would reduce future OAS costs, which are really a taxpayer subsidy to businesses that refuse to provide pension plans to their employees. Not a cent of tax money pays for CPP, which is financed entirely by workers and their employers. If we are to avoid a growing future tax bill while still ensuring all Canadians can retire in dignity, we need to commit now to doubling future CPP benefits.
Ken Georgetti, president, Canadian Labour Congress