B.C. raising maximum pensionable age to 71

Changes would match announcement made by Ottawa earlier this year

British Columbia is planning on increasing the maximum pensionable age to 71, up from the current age of 69.

The maximum pensionable age is the age at which an individual must begin to receive a pension. The change is designed to provide individuals with more flexibility in planning for their retirement as it gives older workers the option to stay in the workforce longer and continue building their retirement savings, the B.C. government said.

The province said it intends to amend its Pensions Benefits Standards Act (PBSA) to bring it into line with federal legislation. In its 2007 budget, the federal government said, effective June 2007, the maximum pension age under the federal Income Tax Act would increase from 69 to 71.

B.C. said it supports the federal initiative and intends to amend its pension legislation to match the federal Income Tax Act changes. The government intends to introduce an amendment in the next legislative sitting and, if approved, the change would be retroactive for the 2007 calendar year.

“British Columbia is making clear its intention to amend the PBSA so that pension plan administrators and older workers can plan accordingly when developing their retirement options,” the province said in a press release. “The superintendent of pensions has posted a bulletin entitled Maximum Pensionable Age on the Financial Institutions Commission website that provides guidance on how the changes will be handled."

The proposed amendment would apply to pension plans registered under the PBSA, the province said. It would also apply to RRSP and Life Income Funds that consist of funds transferred from B.C. registered pension plans.

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