Canada is “out of step” with the rest of the G7 and most major industrialized countries, which are raising the retirement age under their public retirement programs, argues a new report from the Fraser Institute, a Vanouver-based public policy think-tank.
The Trudeau government’s decision to scrap the previous administration’s plan to raise the retirement age for the Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement programs from 65 to 67 leaves Canada as the only G7 country without a plan to increase the age of eligibility for government retirement programs, the report says.
The United Kingdom is increasing its retirement age to 68 by 2039, the report notes, and the United States, Germany, Italy and France are all increasing their retirement age to 67 over the next five to 12 years. Indeed, 18 of 22 high-income industrialized countries are planning to increase the retirement age in their countries, it says, and several countries are indexing their eligibility age to life expectancy.
“Like every other high-income country, Canada’s population is aging, but unlike most of our peers, Canada is doing very little to prepare for the greying of society,” says Jason Clemens, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of the report, in a statement. “Increasing the age of eligibility for public retirement programs is only one possible reform to better prepare for Canada’s aging population. Unfortunately, on this issue, the federal government has offered no alternatives other than the status quo.”
Earlier this week, the Toronto-based C.D. Howe Institute issued a report recommending that the government raise the retirement age, among other measures, to address the likely impact of an aging population on government finances in the years ahead.