Archive for the ‘Social Security Policy Context’ Category

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How raising the age for CPP and OAS to 67 would benefit the whole country

Monday, April 15th, 2019

It’s past time we updated a retirement-income system conceived in the days when people lived just 10 to 15 year after retirement… “This isn’t a recommendation to assist the government in improving sustainability or save the government money.” … Retirees will need more savings than previous generations because they will live longer, because company pensions have become more scarce and because saving is made more difficult by low interest rates.

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Ottawa takes first steps towards improving Canadian retirements

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Many employers have now shifted to defined-contribution plans, where workers tuck away a certain amount of savings every month. These plans can help an employee accumulate a substantial stash over the course of his or her career. The problem is that once the employee retires, it is entirely up to him or her to figure out how to transform those accumulated savings into a steady stream of income that can last a lifetime.

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Alberta makes the biggest strides as child poverty rates drop across Canada

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Alberta has the lowest child poverty rate in the country at 5 per cent, having managed to cut its rate in half in just two years, between 2015 and 2017… University of Calgary economist Ron Kneebone pointed to the national Canada Child Benefit and, at least in Alberta, the Alberta Child Benefit, as the biggest reasons for this improvement. Both were introduced in recent years to provide better income supports for parents.

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Measuring low income and Canada’s Official Poverty Line

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

the Market Basket Measure (MBM) will be used as Canada’s Official Poverty Line. Statistics Canada is currently conducting a comprehensive review of the MBM… By participating in this consultation, you will be supporting Statistics Canada’s ability to accurately measure low income and poverty.

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Young Barrie widow elated to see end of age discrimination

Monday, January 14th, 2019

… the legislation said if a person is under 35 and has no children, they do not qualify for a spouse’s CPP. The belief was a young widow without children could adapt financially to a loss… And now, she’s received a letter from the government asking her to reapply for CPP. “It said effective Jan. 1 you are no longer required to have dependent children”… The government estimates it will affect 40,000 people.

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Why we need to fix Canada’s new measure of poverty

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

… some vital daily costs don’t even make it into the basket; some, like child care or prescription medication, are designated as “out of pocket” expenses, not basic needs… The MBM may help Statistics Canada to show changes in poverty on tables and spreadsheets, but in its current form, it could harm the very people who live in poverty. That is because service providers across the country will use the cost of the basket, with all its flaws, to measure eligibility, meaning people may not qualify for services they need.

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Making sense of Ontario’s social assistance reforms

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Under 2018 budget measures, since scrapped by the Ford government, those on OW would have been able to work themselves well out of poverty before losing their benefits. But under the changes, a person on OW will still be almost $6,000 below the poverty line when their earnings make them ineligible for welfare… Currently, a single person on ODSP can work himself out of poverty while still receiving social assistance, but under the changes would be almost $4,000 short when becoming ineligible.

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Ontario’s social assistance reforms hint at direction, offer few specifics, and have problematic implications

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

What was entirely missing from the government’s announcement was any rationale for this change in incentive structure. We’re left to wonder whether there is any good reason to change the pattern of incentives so those working fewer hours are better off, but those working more hours are worse off… Only the tiniest fraction of ODSP recipients could possibly ever work under the proposed new definition, so the higher exemption levels will likely apply to almost no one.

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There are danger signs in Ford government plans to reform welfare

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

The biggest change is redefining disability to more closely align with federal guidelines… This change will make it harder for new people to qualify for the Ontario Disability Support Program. And the obvious underlying suggestion is that there are people on the program now who shouldn’t be… once the changes take effect, every person who can be ruled ineligible for disability amounts to hundreds of dollars in monthly savings to the government

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With welfare reform plan, Ontario PCs identify an area ripe for change

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

A single person on welfare gets up to $733 a month and a person on disability support receives $1,169. These are not sums on which a person can live. The Liberals had promised three-per-cent increases in both payments for three years. The PCs have increased them 1.5 per cent and have no commitment to do more. Boil it down and what we are left with is an assertion that the PCs can make the welfare bureaucracy more effective, combined with spending that will benefit the poor less than what the Liberals would have done. That’s not a lot to cheer about.

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