Seniors are dedicated voters and political parties are courting their support with promises to enhance pensions.

Seniors are dedicated voters and political parties are courting their support with promises to enhance pensions.

ELECTION 2015: Battle over pensions, pay stubs

Expanding Canada Pension Plan or more voluntary savings in tax-free savings accounts are among choices for voters

Pensions and payroll deductions to finance them are a key battleground for the Oct. 19 federal election.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau sparked debate by endorsing the Ontario government’s plan to launch a provincial version of the Canada Pension Plan, with mandatory payroll deductions to finance it.

The Liberal Party platform says only that a Trudeau government “will work with the provinces and territories, workers, employers and retiree organizations to enhance the Canada Pension Plan.”

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has made a similar pledge to expand the CPP, noting that Ontario and Prince Edward Island have already put forward pension proposals. He plans to convene a meeting with provinces within six months of forming a government. (NDP platform here.)

Conservative leader Stephen Harper has rejected mandatory expansion, but has said he would consider a system of voluntary additional contributions to CPP. The Conservatives have promoted an increase in tax-free savings account limits to $10,000 per year and income splitting for married seniors. (Conservative platform here.)

Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver said for an employee earning $60,000 a year, the Ontario pension would reduce take-home pay by $1,000 a year, and similar payments by employers would lead to reduced employment.

The Green Party platform also promises to expand the CPP, but provides no details.

Trudeau and Mulcair have both denied Harper’s allegation that they plan to eliminate pension income splitting. Both have also vowed to cancel the Conservative plan to raise the eligibility age for Old Age Security payments from 65 to 67, which would not take full effect until 2029.

OAS is not a pension plan, but a taxpayer-funded program that pays $565 per month for all seniors, in addition to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) that provides up to $766 per month to qualifying low-income seniors. OAS is progressively taxed back for seniors whose combined income from other source exceeds $72,809.

In an interview last week, Harper said his government has provided the biggest increase in the GIS in 25 years, and defended the move to phase in a higher eligibility age for OAS, starting in 2023.

“We’re doing, frankly, what most other Western democratic countries do, make adjustments based on demographics,” Harper said.

 

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Special weather statement issued for Fraser Valley as first summer heat arrives June 20, 2021, and set to persist all week. (Photo by James Day on Unsplash)
Second day of hot temperatures rippling across Fraser Valley

Communities from Abbotsford to Hope will see daytime high maximum temps of 32 degrees

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Most Read