April 22, 2016

Canada’s Old Age Security used to be means-tested. Time to bring that back.

Brian LilleyRebel Co-Founder
 

Sitting in for Ezra Levant, I talk about Justin Trudeau's decision to revert the eligibility age for Old Age Security payments back to 65.

By undoing Stephen Harper's modest, much-needed reforms to our retirement system, Trudeau is saddling us with an extra expense of over $11 billion a year.

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commented 2016-04-24 12:15:07 -0400
Another misleading, half truth report by the Rebel.

OAS is means tested in its current form. As with everything about the Liberals, they give with the left hand then take away in spades with the right.

The OAS claw back begins when net income reaches $72K per year – a middle class amount of money according to Trudeau’s own definition of the middle class for tax break purposes. At $100K the OAS payout is $283.00 per month, at $110K $98.00 per month and at 120K it is zero. What I do object to is the move by Trudeau to return the bar to 65 years of age. Actuarians would tell you this is unrealistic given today’s lifespans. Indeed, almost every western nation realizes the sustainability problems of their respective gov’t pensions vis a vis age and have increased the bar to 67 years of age or higher. Trudeau is reverting back to the age of 65 for political reasons only and to continue his program of cancelling every single Conservative piece of legislation such that there will be no legislative record that the Harper government even existed. Now that’s nasty.
commented 2016-04-22 17:53:42 -0400
Who would have believed it? Both Ezra and Brian both making a left turn to embrace NDP “equality” vs Canadian “fairness.” The very idea is anti-conservative and disgusting.
Since the introduction of CPP in the 60’s the government educated Canadians to prepare for retirement; seriously consider: 1. Purchase property. 2. Save. 3. Purchase RRSP’s 4. Purchase a pension. 5. Purchase CS Bonds or similar. As you do these things you can contribute to the CPP and make a personal choice to receive it (rolled back) at 60 or (in full) at 65. You can also pay taxes throughout your working life and contribute to an OAP which the government will pay to everyone regardless. They recommended that one needed approx. 70% of your pre-retirement income for a successful retirement ie add everything together and you might make it on your own.
We are now in 2016: 1. Didn’t bother to save. No problem, just apply for the Guarenteed Income Supplement. You will be made financially equal to those now relying on their RIFF’s as income. 2. Don’t want to pay a lot of taxes? No problem because you will be taxed at a considerably lower rate than those who would like to benefit from their savings. 3. How about we give you GST/PST to top you up. 4. How about we let you low earners deduct your medical expenses, but not the middle class senior? Want to move into that luxury retirement residence. Sure we will subsidize you, but not the retiree with savings.
Brian and Ezra……“Means testing” is unfair and disgusting. It rewards those who failed to make an effort…..even those who perhaps decided to spend their lives on welfare …or gaol. We are not all Coonrad Black’s…..I think you had better think this out again.
commented 2016-04-22 14:51:42 -0400
In some ways OAS is already means tested. The notion that Conrad Black is getting it is ludicrous. Yes, everyone gets it but it is then clawed back above a certain income level. So the statement goes out but shows the appropriate income tax deduction. That appears as Social repayment on page 4 of the general tax for. The same is true with the non-refundable age amount. By the time income in retirement reaches about $100000 the deduction is totally wiped out. Wealthy retires do not benefit from OAS or the age amount. (I am a tax preparer so I know what I am talking about.
commented 2016-04-22 14:46:14 -0400
If payment of the OAS to the upper middle class who don’t need it was stopped, the extra available money would allow for lower income senior citizens to have an increase in month payments of OAS.

If only the greedy Liberals could be like Harper in that Harper waived his retirement package as PM, something that the main stream media ignored reporting.
commented 2016-04-22 14:21:41 -0400
I agree that those with incomes over minimum taxation levels don’t need this elder supplement, but I’m in favor of raising benefits for seniors with single or multiple fixed income streams that pay less than $30K. there are many seniors in this situation – people in their 70s and 80s who are ambulatory enough to stay in their own home and take care of themselves. These people should not pay taxes and have a guaranteed income sufficient enough that they don’t survive by eating dog food or going to the food bank just to pay their heating and electric bills.

I have been a visitation care giver for many seniors in my church who are in this situation. They have worked all their lives and their retirement plans (which seemed enormous in the day they started them) have been reduced to subsistence levels by inflation and taxes. They deserve a little dignity and certainly have earned a rest from the tax man.