Seniors are dedicated voters and political parties are courting their support with promises to enhance pensions.

ELECTION 2015: Battle over pensions, pay stubs

Expanding Canada Pension Plan or more voluntary savings in tax-free savings accounts are among choices for voters

Pensions and payroll deductions to finance them are a key battleground for the Oct. 19 federal election.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau sparked debate by endorsing the Ontario government’s plan to launch a provincial version of the Canada Pension Plan, with mandatory payroll deductions to finance it.

The Liberal Party platform says only that a Trudeau government “will work with the provinces and territories, workers, employers and retiree organizations to enhance the Canada Pension Plan.”

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has made a similar pledge to expand the CPP, noting that Ontario and Prince Edward Island have already put forward pension proposals. He plans to convene a meeting with provinces within six months of forming a government. (NDP platform here.)

Conservative leader Stephen Harper has rejected mandatory expansion, but has said he would consider a system of voluntary additional contributions to CPP. The Conservatives have promoted an increase in tax-free savings account limits to $10,000 per year and income splitting for married seniors. (Conservative platform here.)

Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver said for an employee earning $60,000 a year, the Ontario pension would reduce take-home pay by $1,000 a year, and similar payments by employers would lead to reduced employment.

The Green Party platform also promises to expand the CPP, but provides no details.

Trudeau and Mulcair have both denied Harper’s allegation that they plan to eliminate pension income splitting. Both have also vowed to cancel the Conservative plan to raise the eligibility age for Old Age Security payments from 65 to 67, which would not take full effect until 2029.

OAS is not a pension plan, but a taxpayer-funded program that pays $565 per month for all seniors, in addition to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) that provides up to $766 per month to qualifying low-income seniors. OAS is progressively taxed back for seniors whose combined income from other source exceeds $72,809.

In an interview last week, Harper said his government has provided the biggest increase in the GIS in 25 years, and defended the move to phase in a higher eligibility age for OAS, starting in 2023.

“We’re doing, frankly, what most other Western democratic countries do, make adjustments based on demographics,” Harper said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Free downtown parking ends in Vernon

Meanwhile, the city continues to replace broken meters with high-strength versions

Vernon chamber supports push to expand local provincial park

A Vernon resident is petitioning the province to purchase a 234-acre property

COVID-19: Okanagan libraries to reopen for browsing

More than 80,000 items loaned out through curbside pickup program ahead of Phase 3

RCMP seek help finding missing Vernon senior

The missing 73-year-old is believed to have been paddle boarding in Okanagan Lake June 30

Residents evacuated at Vernon care facility due to potential gas leak

FortisBC and Vernon Fire Rescue Services are on scene at Hearthstone Manor

RCMP brass addresses concerns over recent actions of police in the Southeast District

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘We need to re-think our systems’: Kelowna mayor on RCMP Southeast Division statement

The RCMP held a news conference on Thursday, July 2 to address concerns in the force

Witness helps Kelowna police track down alleged impaired driver

The driver allegedly hit a pedestrian walking on the side of the road

Four people rescued after floating past Penticton’s Skaha Bridge

Elevated water levels prompts safety message from local fire department

Driver ticketed and hospitalized after highway crash near Sicamous

The two-vehicle collision took place near Bernie Road on June 26.

Driver walks away after rolling McLaren on Highway 5A

RCMP is looking for witnesses to the crash that happened on Canada Day

Bags of dog feces donated to Princeton charity thrift store

A Princeton Crisis Assistance Centre volunteer was made almost physically ill after… Continue reading

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Most Read