Many of us are benefiting from advances in health and fitness and as a result, Canadians are living longer.
Right here in our beautiful riding of Kelowna-Lake Country, I have had the pleasure of meeting and being inspired by several octogenarians (folks who are 80 going on 60), numerous people who have celebrated their 100th birthday, and one community member who, at 106 years, is still going as strong as an energizer bunny!
Living longer, more active lives is a reality that presents all kinds of choices and adjustments, from personal decisions about careers and retirement, to the need for governments to develop and amend policies and programs.
For example, people today are taking many different paths to retirement, with some seniors choosing to work longer.
To improve flexibility and choice in retirement planning, the Government of Canada announced the new voluntary deferral option for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
As of July 1, 2013, Canadians now have the option to voluntarily defer their OAS pension for up to five years in exchange for a higher monthly amount. For every month they delay receipt of their OAS pension, they will receive an increased monthly benefit of 0.6 per cent per month, up to a maximum of 36 per cent at age 70.
People can defer their OAS pension for as little as one month, or as much as 60 months. For example, if you were to turn 65 today and decided to delay receiving your OAS pension for one year, your monthly amount would increase by 7.2 percent (0.6 per cent x 12 months).
People should consider their personal situations when deciding when to start receiving their OAS pension, including their financial status, life expectancy, and wants and needs. It is important to note that if people delay their OAS pension, they will not be eligible to receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and their spouse or common-law partner will not be eligible to receive the allowance until their OAS pension begins.
For more information on voluntary deferral and how it may affect your retirement plans, I encourage you to visit the Government of Canada website at: www.servicecanada.gc.ca/oaschanges.
As always if you have any questions about this or any federally-related matter, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 250 470-5075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.