What are we to do with OAS eligibility? (Editor’s notes)

Government mulls changes that could impact how long Canadians choose to stay in the workforce
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/13/2012

Messing with public pensions is a very poor diet for a politician to subsist on. Few issues get people more riled up than money they’ve been promised and seniors traditionally flock en masse to the voting booth.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper started playing with that hot potato last month in a speech to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Canada’s aging population poses a threat to social programs, he said, and changes must be made to limit the growth of spending on retirement income programs.

Harper took pains to point out the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is actuarially sound, leading to speculation the government has its sights set firmly on Old Age Security (OAS). Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley later confirmed in Parliament that OAS is indeed ripe for change, calling the current system unsustainable.