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.

 

Just Posted

Sunny with a high of 22 C for Monday

Plus your weekly forecast

Light wind sends half of Swiftsure yacht fleet back to shore early

Many racers return overnight in unusual race conditions

Playground a fitting tribute to Sarah Beckett

West Shore Rotary sells bricks to raise funds for playground equipment

Greater Victoria records a drop in EI recipients

2,140 received regular EI benefits in March 2019, a drop of 3.2 per cent

Panorama Rec serves top junior tennis tournament

160 boys and 94 girls, from 14 countries compete June 1–8 in ITF Championships

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Sooke Ladies off to a strong start

First year team posts impressive 7-2-1 record

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Most Read