Compared to other high-income countries, Canada is doing very little to prepare for the “greying of society,” according to a new study by public policy think-tank the Fraser Institute.
Among G7 countries, Canada is the only one without a plan to increase the age of eligibility for government retirement programs, noted the study. The former Conservative federal government planned to increase the age of eligibility to 67 for old-age security and the guaranteed income supplement, a measure that would have been fully implemented in 2029. But Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government reversed the decision in its first budget, keeping the age of eligibility at 65.
“Like every other high-income country, Canada’s population is aging, but unlike most of our peers, Canada is doing very little to prepare for the greying of society,” said Jason Clemens, executive vice-president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of the study, in a news release.
In Britain and Ireland, the age of eligibility is being raised to 68, while France, Germany, Italy and the United States are all increasing their retirement age to 67 over the next five to 12 years. And Iceland is moving to age 70. Five countries are indexing their age of eligibility to life expectancy.
In fact, of the 22 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 18 countries, or 82 per cent, are increasing the age of eligibility for their public pension systems, according to the study. In that group, Canada is one of only five countries — along with Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland — without a plan to increase the eligibility age.
“Increasing the age of eligibility for public retirement programs is only one possible reform to better prepare for Canada’s aging population,” said Clemens. “Unfortunately, on this issue, the federal government has offered no alternatives other than the status quo.”
Source: Benefits Canada