Canadians don’t want pension changes: Poll

More than two-thirds oppose increasing retirement age

Canadians are firmly opposed to the government’s plan for changes to the public pension system, according to a recent poll.

More than two-thirds of the 1,000 Canadians surveyed oppose the view that the country needs to sacrifice pensions to keep taxes down or increase the retirement age to control rising pension system costs, found the poll conducted by Ipsos Reid for Postmedia News and Global TV.

Seventy per cent of respondents disagree with the statement "social programs, seniors' pensions, and other benefits in Canada are more generous than we can afford to pay for."

Seventy per cent also disagree with the statement that "we need to keep taxes down, even if it means we have to sacrifice in terms of seniors' pensions and other social benefits."

And 68 per cent disagree with the statement that "given the financial pressures on Canada's public pension system, it is necessary to increase the retirement age from 65 to 67," according to an article published in the Vancouver Sun.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has hinted at increasing the eligibility age for Old Age Security (OAS) from 65 to 67. According to the government, the cost of OAS, without reforms, will soar to $108 billion in 2030 from $36.5 billion in 2010. The government’s plans will be revealed in the March 29 budget.

And one-half (49 per cent) of survey respondents are preparing for a "bad news" budget from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

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