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Win for workers as government restores eligibility age for retirement benefits

Today the Canadian Labour Congress celebrated the Prime Minister’s announcement that his government will maintain the eligibility for Old Age Security at 65. In 2012 the Conservatives announced they would raise the age to 67 starting in 2023.

“We have been calling for the government to ensure the eligibility age remains at 65 since the Conservatives announced the change four years ago. It’s good to see our new government is listening,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

Yussuff pointed out that the Conservatives’ move to raise the age of eligibility was totally unjustified in the first place. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Parliamentary Budget Office pointed out at the time that OAS and the Guaranteed Income Supplement are affordable programs. Meanwhile, provinces were suddenly left facing potential lost revenue and higher costs as they scrambled to compensate for the Conservatives’ decision.

Yussuff views this move, and the government’s election commitment to increase Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits for single, low-income seniors, as a sign that the current government is committed to addressing seniors’ poverty.

“Rolling back the age restriction and increasing the GIS for those who need it most is a significant move to address seniors’ poverty. Now the missing piece is universal expansion of the Canada Pension Plan for tomorrow’s seniors,” Yussuff concluded.

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