Low Income and the Age of Eligibility for OAS

To reprise a now topical earlier blog,  hiking the age of eligibility for OAS will have the biggest impact by far on future seniors who are in low income. Many if not most of this group are unable to work due to disability or ill health.

If the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS is raised, low income seniors on social assistance will see the transition from deep poverty to a bare bones income on GIS postponed accordingly.

And those working but in low income will lose a hefty portion of the OAS/GIS benefits that would otherwise have been paid to them.

It is all too often forgotten that, notwithstanding rising longevity, many of those in lower income groups still die relatively young.

As shown in the Table below, there is a big difference of probability of survival to age 75 by income group, and also by aboriginal status. Those who die at age 75 will receive 10 years of OAS benefits.

Hiking the OAS/GIS eligibility by two years, to take one number that has been speculated about, would eliminate one fifth of the use of  OAS/GIS by the bottom 20% of men.  There is also a big gap in life expectancy between the aboriginal and non aboriginal population.


Probability of Survival to Age 75
Men 64.6%
Bottom Quintile 50.1%
Top Quintile 72.8%
Women 78.1%
Bottom Quintile 69.5%
Top Quintile 83.4%
Registered Indian
Men 48.0%
Women 58.8%
Statistics Canada Health Reports 22/4


  • The big message I think those with at least an ounce of civility need to focus on- why would Canadians make the least able to care for themselves bear the brunt of austerity based cuts, which are in essence funded by corporate tax cuts.

    These are definitely not actions by people with civility and voters need to know this very clearly.

    We need to have a thorough review of the cost savings of these cuts and ask Canadians, is this really the kind of Canada you want? Apparently Harper is not afraid of any of the 99% occupy movement that has arisen.

    Such acts have fueled quite the storms in other countries? So what will this bring about in Canada, strap this on the back of the public sector attacks, the attack on manufacturing workers and I do wonder when will this house of re-election starts getting its doors kicked in by voters?

    I am sure another hot button issue election is being fully prepped right now.

    The NDP need to come up with an economic plan that will transform and start the massive re-framing project for voters. We need to have an economic plan that can engage and fully encompass the 99% and whatever leader comes out the NDP leadership, they have to have a very clear understanding that clarity on economics is fundamental as Harper is saying we cannot afford these ‘luxuries’ and has no plans to make such necessities on everyday peoples lives a priority.

    Picking on the disabled and elderly wow, and from across the ocean, what a classy guy.

  • So if you hiked the OAS eligibility age but not the GIS eligibility age, how would the analysis change?

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