Need to act today on pension future

MP talks about present and future of Canadian pensions.

The topic of pensions has again been on the minds of many citizens and in particular seniors within the riding of Okanagan Coquihalla this past week and has also been actively covered in many Canadian media reports.

I would like to clarify to seniors who current receive the OAS benefit that there will be no changes to the benefits you currently receive. Likewise to the citizens who are very close to reaching retirement age I would also like to confirm that no change would occur without substantial notice and an accompanying adjustment period to ensure that sufficient time is provided to adjust and plan appropriately for your retirement. Our government remains committed to the retirement security of Canadians. However ,we must also be proactive to ensure that we have retirement security that Canadian taxpayers can afford that seniors can depend on.

Going forward over the next two decades we know that the amount of Canadian citizens over the age of 65 will basically double from roughly 4.7 million seniors today to over 9.3 million by 2030. We also know that today seniors are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, a fact that Canadians can all take pride in.

However, we must also recognize that more seniors collecting OAS benefits with fewer workers to fund those same benefits will create a very serious situation if ignored. In terms of numbers the total annual payout for OAS benefits is expected to rise from the current amount of $36 billion a year today to $108 billion by 2030.

Today there is a ratio of basically four working taxpayers helping to fund OAS benefits to retired seniors. By 2030 this ratio will be cut in half down to two working taxpayers attempting to fund OAS benefits. This is an unsustainable situation and is the reason why a new balance must be found in order to secure the future of this important program. Understandably any proposed changes to OAS are a cause for concern to all Canadians. However we cannot ignore the changes to the demographics of our society and run the risk that countries such as Greece are currently encountering with an inability to meet financial obligations. Over the past six years our government has introduced increases to the GIS, pension income splitting, increase age credit and the tax free saving account (TFSA).

As a result of these changes a single senior can now earn $19,000 per year ($38,000 as a couple) before paying any federal income taxes.

We have also lowered the GST rate to ensure there is less tax on your after tax spending. The majority of these initiatives were opposed by the opposition. I expect further proposed changes will potentially also be opposed. While there may be disagreement and debate on how best to secure the long term future for retired Canadians, I am hopeful that we can all agree on the need to be proactive today.


Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan- Coquihalla and can be contacted at



Just Posted

Gold for Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Summerland Museum sorts through acquisitions

Staff working to examine many items in museum’s collection

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Fire department supports students

Money raised through annual holiday tree chipping project

Construction to begin at school site

New private school in Summerland to open this fall

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Barnful of ducks die in early morning blaze

The cause of the fire is unknown

Most Read