What should seniors expect from the new Liberal government?

HomEquity Bank outlines planned changes for older Canadians

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - Canadian seniors worried about finances may be wondering what changes they can expect now that a majority Liberal government has been elected.  

"The comments we hear from seniors, every day, are that government changes are needed to areas affecting finances. Some are struggling while others face dire financial challenges," notes Yvonne Ziomecki, SVP, HomEquity Bank, the only bank dealing exclusively with seniors.

"The most important promise of the Liberal government to retirees is what it won't do and that is end pension income splitting. My spouse and I split my pension income. At the same time, the Trudeau government will introduce a new Seniors Price Index to ensure that Old Age Security benefits keep up with actual rising costs. Both policies will help us to remain in our home, which is a major priority for us," explains Joyce Wayne, Professor Emeritus Journalism, Sheridan College and blogger, www.retirementmatters.ca  

"On the downside, Justin Trudeau has pledged to cut the Tax Free Saving Account yearly contribution from $10,000 back to $5,500.  The increased TSFA limit was a critical piece of my retirement plan. Now I must calculate how much faster I'll need to withdraw funds from my RRSP, and that means adding to my taxable income," she adds.

According to the Liberal party website 'Retirement Security For Our Seniors' section, the new government plans to:

  • Restore eligibility for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to 65, allocating an average of $13,000 annually to the lowest income Canadians as they become seniors.
  • Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single, lower income seniors by 10% providing up to an additional $920 per year for Canada's lowest income seniors. Current benefits generally ensure couples are able to stay out of poverty, however more than one in four single seniors is defined as low income. This will allocate $840 million by 2019 and benefit 1.25 million seniors, including 900,000 single women.
  • Develop a new measure for the cost of living faced by seniors: the Seniors Price Index. OAS and GIS will be indexed to this new, more accurate and more generous measure, rather than to the Consumer Price Index that reflects the wider population.  In periods when the Consumer Price Index grows faster than the Seniors Price Index, the traditional Consumer Price Index will be used. Pension income splitting will remain.
  • Work with provinces and territories, workers, employers and retiree organizations to enhance the Canada Pension Plan.
  • Introduce a more flexible and accessible Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit so six months of benefits are available to those who provide care to a seriously ill family member, rather than only those caring for a loved one at risk of death.
  • Commit to a new, 10-year investment of $20 billion in social infrastructure, prioritizing significant new investment in affordable housing and seniors facilities.

HomEquity Bank, the only Canadian bank working exclusively with seniors, helps elderly people remain in their homes through its CHIP reverse mortgage solution, www.chip.ca and Income Advantage products. Seniors can supplement their income via reverse mortgage monthly or lump sum payments.

About HomEquity Bank

HomEquity Bank is a Schedule 1 Canadian Bank offering the CHIP reverse mortgage solution www.chip.ca. The company was founded 29 years ago as an annuity based solution addressing the financial needs of Canadians who want to access the equity of their top asset – their home. 

SOURCE HomEquity Bank

For further information: or to interview Yvonne Ziomecki or Joyce Wayne, please contact: Teresa Donia, iAMBIC Communications, teresa@iambic.ca, 905-508-5550; Yvonne Ziomecki, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, HomEquity Bank, yziomecki@homequitybank.ca, 647-723-6812


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