By The Numbers: The OAS and Harper’s attack on pension fairness

67 is the new 65

The age when Canadians qualify for Old Age Security (OAS) program starting 2023, thanks to the Harper Conservative government.



The age you need to be today to avoid being affected by Harper’s changes to the Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) programs. 

$38 billion

Current annual cost of the OAS program 


The year when the cost of OAS/GIS (measured approximately as a share of GDP) will start to decline. So anyone born after 1965 will have their access to this important program delayed just at the time when it becomes less expensive! In other words, the increased eligibility age will not impact most baby boomers, but it will impact the younger generations. So much for inter-generational fairness!


Year Canada implemented the Old Age Security Act.


Current maximum annual OAS pension


Current maximum annual GIS for a single person (this maximum is reached if no other income than OAS)



The yearly amount of Stephen Harper’s expected pension, which he can start collecting in 2015 at age 56.


Percentage of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 54 who will be relying on OAS, Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) – as the major source of income in retirement



 Number of changes being made to the Canada Pension Plan



Percentage of Canadians covered by a workplace pension, making public programs such as the OAS important, especially to lower income Canadians.



Percentage of lowest income Canadian parents, who reported in 2009 that they were not preparing financially for their retirement.


1 in 2

Number of middle income baby boomers in Canada who face a severe cut to their living standards in old age, due to falling employer pension coverage.



The amount seniors will lose by the changes in OAS eligibility age from 65 to 67



Number of all low-income Canadian men who will collect an OAS/GIS cheque for only 10 years. The poorest 20 per cent of Canadians pass away 5.6 years earlier than the richest 20 per cent.



Percentage of Canada’s overall GDP for the combined costs of the OAS and CPP; a bargain compared to Germany and Belgium’s 10 per cent and Italy’s 14 per cent.

The total amount of OAS benefits (average) you will lose as a result of having 2 years delayed eligibility:


Sources: Statistics Canada; Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA); Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)