Is eligibility for Old Age Security benefits rising?

Prime Minister's speech at World Economic Forum sparks wave of speculation
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 02/03/2012

Comments Prime Minister Stephen Harper made in a keynote speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, have caused speculation there are plans to raise the age for eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) from 65 to 67.

One of “the backdrops” for concern is Canada's aging population, the Prime Minister said, according to a transcript of his speech.

“Our demographics also constitute a threat to the social programs and services that Canadians cherish,” said Harper. “For this reason, we will be taking measures in the coming months.”

The measures will be taken so Canada can return balanced budget in the medium term and ensure the sustainability of the country’s social programs and fiscal position over the next generation, he said.

“We have already taken steps to limit the growth of our health-care spending… We must do the same for our retirement income system,” said Harper.

The Canada Pension Plan does not need to be changed, as it is “fully funded, actuarially sound,” said Harper, leading to speculation that since CPP is off the table, OAS might be an area the government targets to reduce costs.

“For those elements of the system that are not funded, we will make the changes necessary to ensure sustainability,” he said.

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