HALIFAX, Nov. 29, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada continues to deliver on its commitments to Canadians, while helping to strengthen and grow the economy. By making smart and responsible investments in people, in communities, and in the economy, middle class Canadians are seeing the results of the Government's plan first-hand.
Today, Minister of Seniors, Filomena Tassi, wrapped up a successful visit to Halifax where she met with seniors and other partners to discuss a number of measures being taken as part of the Government of Canada's broad national agenda to improve the social and economic well-being of seniors.
During her visit, she attended an event hosted by the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) where she took the opportunity to provide highlights from the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, which is the next step in the government's plan to strengthen the middle class, and build an economy that works for everyone, including seniors.
Recognizing that financial security is top of mind for Canadian seniors, Minister Tassi identified a number of concrete actions the Government of Canada has taken to improve income security for seniors. These include:
- Introducing legislation to strengthen consumers' rights when it comes to banking, and to improve the protections offered by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).
- The FCAC, in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada, is leading the Strengthening Financial Literacy of Seniors strategy which aims to educate and protect seniors against fraud and financial abuse.
- Improving the quality of life for seniors across Canada by restoring the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from 67 to 65.
- Increasing the GIS amount by almost $1,000 per year for the most vulnerable single seniors, which is helping improve the financial security of close to 900,000 seniors.
- Introducing amendments to the Old Age Security Act to ensure that couples who receive GIS and Allowance benefits, and have to live apart for reasons beyond their control, receive higher benefits based on their individual incomes.
- Working with the provinces and territories to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan to help ensure that today's workers can enjoy a safe, secure and dignified retirement.Starting in 2019, the Canada Pension Plan will be gradually enhanced putting up to 50% more into the pockets of today's workers.
- Launching a National Housing Strategy in November 2017, providing $40 billion over 10 years to help reduce homelessness and improve the availability and quality of housing for Canadians in need, including seniors.
- Launching Canada's first Poverty Reduction Strategy, targeting a 20 percent reduction in poverty by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction in poverty by 2030.
- Engaging with banks and seniors' groups to create a code of ethics that will guide banks in their delivery of services to our seniors.
- Launching national consultations on enhancing Canadians' retirement security. Canadians are invited to provide feedback through the Consultations on enhancing retirement security page between now and December 21, 2018. The potential actions span a number of areas, including pension regulations, corporate laws, and insolvency and bankruptcy laws, and allow for the exploration of all available avenues to improve retirement security for Canadians.
Minister Tassi also met with seniors' organizations, visited Mount Saint Vincent University's Nova Scotia Center on Aging to learn about their research on Canada's aging population, and toured a New Horizons for Seniors Program project.
"The Government of Canada continues to work to deliver real, meaningful results for all Canadians, including our seniors. We know that financial security is top of mind for older Canadians, and that's why we continue to take concrete action to improve the economic and social well-being of seniors who deserve a dignified and secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work. In the Fall Economic Statement, we took another step to increase financial consumer protection for seniors, and I look forward to working on this."
-The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors
- Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic group in Canada. By 2030, the number of seniors will reach 9.6 million people, representing close to one quarter of Canada's population.
- Canadians' life expectancy is expected to continue rising—Canadian men and women born in 2030 will live on average to age 84 and 87, respectively.
- The FCAC works to inform Canadians and issues consumer alerts on fraud, scams, and sales practices. Fraud is the number one crime against older Canadians.
- The objective of the OAS program is to ensure a minimum income for seniors and reduce poverty among Canada's seniors. The OAS benefits include the basic pension, which is paid to all individuals aged 65 and older who meet the residence requirements, the GIS for low-income seniors, and the Allowances for low-income individuals aged 60 to 64 who are the spouses/partners of GIS recipients, or who are widow/widowers.
- Half of new pensioners are now automatically enrolled in the OAS pension and the GIS, as part of the government commitment to service improvement for pension benefits.
- Service Canada has an OAS Program Toolkit, making it easier for advocates and support groups to help seniors become aware of and obtain their OAS pension and other related benefits.
- The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors who make a difference in the lives of others and their communities.
Investing in Middle Class Jobs: Fall Economic Statement 2018
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Protection from fraud and scams
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Annabelle Archambault, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Seniors, 613-462-7126, firstname.lastname@example.org; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, email@example.com