Canadian Social Research Links

Seniors

Sites de recherche sociale au Canada

Personnes âgées

Updated June 2, 2017
Page révisée le 2 juin 2017


[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]
Links to international sites (jump directly to the bottom of this page)


Quicklinks to federal government websites about and for seniors:

* Retirement Planning
(Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, international benefits)

* Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension
* Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Post-Retirement Benefit
* Old Age Security (OAS) pension
* Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
* Allowance
(formerly called the Spouse's Allowance)
* International benefits
* Canadian Retirement Income Calculator

Federal Dept. responsible for the above programs:
Employment and Social Development Canada

---

* Benefits for seniors : CanadaBenefits.ca
Click "I am ... a senior", then select a province or territory.

* Service Canada : Seniors

* Statistics Canada : Seniors
* Seniors.gc.ca
* Government of Canada news for Seniors
* New Horizons for Seniors
* Federal Budget
* Division of Aging and Seniors
(Public Health Agency of Canada)

---

Non-government websites:

* CARP (Canada) - formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons
* Zoomer.com


 

For links to information on reforms to Canadian retirement pensions (Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, etc.), see the Retirement Pension Reforms page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm

- including the proposal to raise eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67

---

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) Undersubscription
200,000 seniors eligible for but not receiving GIS?
This link takes you further down on the page you're now reading
[Updated to September 2010]

---

Links to Statistics on Old Age Security
and the Canada Pension Plan

UPDATED DECEMBER 31, 2014
(This link takes you further down on the page you're now reading.)

 


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NEW

June 2, 2017
Retiring on a low income: plain language advice
(John Stapleton, Open Policy)

You need to know how to get the most from income security programs. (Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan, Ontario Disability Support). Many financial advisors are unfamiliar with how they work - together and with other income. John Stapleton, Open Policy Ontario, will help you understand.

Attend a free workshop at a Toronto Public Library branch.
Each session is about two hours in duration.
Free workbooks.
All are welcome!

Read a short paragraph that
lays out the framework for the workshops:
http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT296198&R=EVT296198
Learn to navigate the system and use best strategies for long term retirement planning with very limited means.

If you're a Toronto resident, call 416-393-7131 to reach someone at the main library who can provide additional information.
If you're not a Toronto resident but would like to invite the presenter (John Stapleton) to speak to your group or to attend a session, send an email request to John using the electronic comments page:
http://openpolicyontario.com/contact/

Sessions :

Toronto Reference Apr. 10, 6 pm
Downsview Apr. 26, 6 pm
Fairview May 11, 6 pm
Victoria Village May 25, 6 pm
St. Lawrence May 27, 1 pm
---
NOTE: As at June 2, 2017, there are four sessions remaining. (see the remaining dates and locations immediately below)
---
Mimico June 6, 6 pm
Black Creek June 8, 6 pm
Centennial June 15, 6 pm
Sanderson June 22, 6 pm

Learnings from the Toronto Library and The
Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
Presentations:
John Stapleton – Open Policy Ontario [ http://openpolicyontario.com/ ]

Author and presenter John Stapleton is a writer, instructor and Innovations Fellow with the Metcalf Foundation. He worked for the Ontario Government for 28 years in the areas of social assistance policy and operations and was Research Director for the Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults in Toronto

Ten things to know about federal income supports for low income seniors in Canada:
http://behindthenumbers.ca/2016/08/25/ten-things-to-know-about-federal-income-support-for-low-income-seniors-in-canada/
Prepared by:
Allan Moscovitch
, Professor, Carleton University;
Nick Falvo
, Director of Research & Data at the Calgary Housing Foundation; and
David Macdonald
, Senior Economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
August 25, 2016
1. The first income-support program for low-income seniors in Canada was called the Old Age Pension.
2. Over time, income support for seniors became more generous.
3. Initially, Indians who had status under the Indian Act were explicitly excluded from receiving a pension under the 1927 legislation.
4. In 1951, major changes were made to this program and it became known as Old Age Security (OAS)
5. With the 1951 changes, members of First Nations were now eligible for benefits.
6. In the mid-1960s, major changes were made to the OAS.
7. Today’s OAS system serves 5.5 million Canadians; its current annual cost is $35 billion, or about 13% of total spending by Canada’s federal government.
8. With the OAS/GIS system in place, there is substantially less poverty among seniors than there would be if the system were not in place.
9. Since 2003, the percentage of elderly Canadians in poverty, as measured by the LIM, has risen back up to almost 10%.
10. Our chapter argues that, if the change in OAS eligibility were to happen, the percentage of Canadians aged 65 and 66 living in poverty would increase substantially.

Source:
How Ottawa Spends
http://carleton.ca/sppa/hos/0/
How Ottawa Spends is the annual review of the federal government’s spending and public policy by the Carleton University School of Public Policy and Administration.

NOTE : Starting in 2015, How Ottawa Spends has been published in digital formats only.
Click the above link to access free and complete annual versions of How Ottawa Spends going back to 2003-2004, available in Epub, Mobile and PDF versions. These annual reports are voluminous --- the latest edition comes in at 445 pages...
Recommended reading!

Carleton University School of Public Administration
http://carleton.ca/sppa/

---

- Go to the Seniors (Social Research) Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/seniors.htm

One-third of Canadians are working past retirement age just to make ends meet:
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-may-25-2016-1.3598848/canadian-seniors-still-working-to-make-ends-meet-1.3598884
Anna Maria Tremonti
May 25, 2016
Many Canadians over the age of 65 are finding themselves in situations where they have no choice but to work — and the number of people in this group is growing. As jobs with pension plans become scarcer and as a third of over-65 Canadians without them are left with $1000 in retirement savings, working years are extending into their seventies, eighties and beyond.
(...)
John Stapleton, an innovation fellow and social policy expert specializing in retirement issues with the Metcalf Foundation, says a lot has changed when it comes to seniors in the workforce. While Stapleton mentions the bright side — medical advances allowing people to live longer, healthier lives — he also notes the climate in which this is happening. "We're looking at lower savings rates, lower interest rates on those savings too, which mitigate against savings. We're looking at higher housing costs and of course, one of the big ones is ... that they have to take care of someone who is very aged."

Source:
The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent
CBC Radio:
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/

Related links:

Seniors going bankrupt in soaring numbers
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/seniors-going-bankrupt-in-soaring-numbers-1.3129176

Seniors increasingly likely to retire in poverty, study says
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/seniors-retire-with-more-debt-young-people-aren-t-saving-1.3450941

Women over 65 double participation in workforce, Statistics Canada finds
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/senior-women-statistics-canada-1.3512473

Opposing CPP expansion is bad advice for Canadian workers
http://windsorstar.com/opinion/letters/opposing-cpp-expansion-bad-advice-for-canadian-workers

Canadian unions launch new CPP campaign “A Better Plan for All”:
http://canadianlabour.ca/news/news-archive/canadian-unions-launch-new-cpp-campaign-%E2%80%9C-better-plan-all%E2%80%9D

Ontario Renovating More Than 300 Long-Term Care Homes;
Province Investing in Renovations to Improve Care and Comfort for Residents

https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2016/04/ontario-renovating-more-than-300-long-term-care-homes.html
News Release
April 4, 2016
Ontario is investing in long-term care homes to improve the quality of care and comfort of residents.
Today, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dipika Damerla visited Stouffville's Bloomington Cove Care Community, where more than 30 resident spaces will be upgraded. This is one of more than 300 long-term care homes that will be upgraded over the next nine years and are eligible to receive a construction funding subsidy.

Additional Resources:

How to find and apply to a long-term care home
https://www.ontario.ca/page/find-long-term-care-home

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ms/ecfa/healthy_change/

Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care (PDF)
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ccac/roadmap.pdf

Source:
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en

Province Strengthens End-Of-Life Care With $75 Million Investment:
Ontario Developing Comprehensive Strategy on Palliative and End-Of-Life Care

https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2016/03/province-strengthens-end-of-life-care-with-75-million-investment.html
News Release
March 11, 2016
As part of the 2016 Budget, Ontario is proposing to invest an additional $75 million over three years to provide patients with more options and access to palliative and end-of-life care.

Additional Resources:

* Palliative and End-of-Life Care Provincial Roundtable Report
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/palliative/default.aspx

* Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/1ms/ecfa/healthy_change/

* Ontario’s Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ccac/roadmap.pdf

* Hospice Palliative Care Ontario
http://www.hpco.ca/

From
Statistics Canada:

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

May 4, 2015
Long-term Care Facilities Survey, 2013
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150504/dq150504b-eng.htm
For the reference year April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, there were 1,519 long-term care facilities in Canada serving 149,488 residents. During this time, the industry generated revenues of $10.9 billion and expenses of $10.8 billion, of which $7.2 billion were wages and salaries. This corresponded to a profit margin of $154.2 million or 1.4% of total revenues.

See also:

Long Term Care Facilities Survey
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/survey/business/5203

Related subjects:

Health
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2966&id=2966&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Disability
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2966&id=1963&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Health care services
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2966&id=2967&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Seniors
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=70000&id=70000&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

The 2015 Federal Budget: Not a real seniors’ budget
http://nationalseniorsproject.org/2015/04/25/the-2015-federal-budget-not-a-real-seniors-budget/
Posted on April 25, 2015
(...)
Seniors Vote, an initiative of dozens of seniors’ groups, called for major movement in the budget on four important issues:
1. Income security, including restoring OAS and GIS to age 65 from 67 and increasing the Canada Pension Plan.
2. Healthcare reform including increased funding for issues such as homecare and a national pharmacare plan
3. A national housing strategy for seniors to let them stay in their own homes or move into purpose built affordable housing.
4. Fighting inequality to assure all citizens, including seniors, can get out of poverty and their children can have decent jobs, not precarious work.
(...)
And yet there are no major moves on any of these four issues. Instead the Budget contains four measures which do not signify any major progress on any of the above key policy areas. So what does the Budget have for seniors?
* First, the budget increased the maximum annual Tax Free Savings Account contribution from $5500 to $10,000.
* The second major plank for seniors in the budget was the change in the mandatory rates of withdrawal from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).
* The third major move touching seniors in the budget is the extension of the Compassionate Care EI leave from 6 weeks to 6 months.
* Finally, the budget outlined a non-refundable tax credit for seniors and people with disabilities who undertake home renovation projects.

Source:
Seniors Vote : Canadian Alliance of United Seniors
http://nationalseniorsproject.org/

The plight of low income hardworking seniors (Part Deux. addendum)
By Gilles:
In last week's newsletter, I included a link to a diatribe by social advocate John Stapleton regarding the confusing and ridiculous rules around the treatment of income from work received from various sources by people over 65 in receipt of government financial assistance. However, I neglected to include a link in that same newsletter to a March 29 article in the Toronto Star with more detailed information.

Here's a link to John's blog post (March 27):
http://openpolicyontario.com/the-plight-of-low-income-hardworking-seniors/

...and a link to the Star article dated March 29:
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/03/29/should-poor-seniors-have-to-pay-to-volunteer-porter.html
Should poor seniors have to pay to volunteer?
By Catherine Porter
March 29, 2015
Phillip Dufresne lives on $1,000 monthly disability cheques and gets an additional $120 monthly in honorariums for volunteering in the community. But when he turns 65 in a few months, the government will claw most of that back.

Source
Toronto Star:
[ http://www.thestar.com/ ]

Related link:
Open Policy Ontario - John Stapleton's blog
http://openpolicyontario.com/

From Statistics Canada:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

February 25, 2015
Study: Senior care: Differences by type of housing, 2012
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150225/dq150225a-eng.htm
In 2012, 5.4 million Canadians provided care to a senior family member or friend. This care was most often provided to a senior living in their own private residence, though the intensity of care was highest for caregivers who lived with their care recipient.

---

December 18, 2014
Study: New facts on pension coverage in Canada, 2012
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/141218/dq141218b-eng.htm
In 2012, one-third of employed women and one-quarter of employed men aged 25 to 54 were covered by a defined benefit (DB) pension plan. Women had higher coverage rates mostly because they were more likely than men to be employed in sectors with higher rates of pension coverage.
These sectors included educational services, health care and social assistance, and public administration, which, in 2012, employed 42% of women and 17% of men. The finding is part of a new study that sheds light on the relationship between the type of pension coverage and the individual characteristics of employed people. It is based on recently released data from the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults.

From the
Ontario Ministry of Finance:

[ http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/ ]

Strengthening Province's Retirement System
New Legislation Would Help Ontarians Save for Retirement

http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/12/strengthening-provinces-retirement-system.html
News Release
December 8, 2014
The province is taking an important step to strengthen its retirement income system and ensure Ontarians are better able to enjoy their retirement years, with the introduction of legislation that would, if passed, help people save for retirement.
This afternoon, the province will introduce the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2014: http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/12/ontario-retirement-pension-plan-act-2014.html
The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2014 would, if passed, lay out a framework for the creation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) and commit the government to establishing the plan by January 1, 2017, helping to address the undersavings problem.

-------------------------------------

From
Huffington Post Canada
:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

Ontario Retirement Savings Plan: Liberals Introduce Bill To Create Provincial Pension Plan
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/08/ontario-retirement-savings-plan-liberals-wynne_n_6288596.html
By Keith Leslie
December 8, 2014
TORONTO - Ontario's Liberal government introduced legislation Monday to create a mandatory provincial pension plan, which the Opposition and business groups slammed as a job-killing payroll tax. The bill clears the way for the introduction on Jan. 1, 2017, of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, which will be mandatory for workers who do not already have a company pension plan, said Finance Minister Charles Sousa.
(...)
The bill would require employers and employees to each contribute 1.9 per cent of a worker's salary to the ORPP, up to $1,643 a year, which the Ontario Chamber of Commerce warned will result in fewer jobs.

October 3, 2014
Study: End-of-life care, 2012
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/141003/dq141003c-eng.htm
In 2012, 13% of Canadians (3.7 million) aged 15 and older reported providing end-of-life or palliative care to a family member or friend at some point in their lives. These caregivers helped the terminally ill with such tasks as personal or medical care, preparing meals, managing finances or providing transportation to and from medical appointments.

TIP : Scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to the following related analytical products on caregiving and care receiving:
* Young Canadians providing care
* Canadians with unmet home care needs
* Receiving care at home
* Family caregiving: What are the consequences?
* Portrait of Caregivers, 2012

Fact Sheet : http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-652-x/89-652-x2014004-eng.htm

Source:
Statistics Canada

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

Action for Seniors (PDF - 2.3MB, 28 pages)
http://www.seniors.gc.ca/build/theme-sc-ac/pdf/action_report_for_seniors.pdf
September 10, 2014

This report is a comprehensive information resource highlighting federal programs and services that can be accessed by seniors, their families, and caregivers ranging from help to combat elder abuse to government support such as ensuring seniors' financial security.
* Implement changes to income security programs to reflect the modern reality of how Canadians choose to live, work and retire
* Introduce new, and support ongoing programs that help seniors continue to be active members of their communities, through paid or volunteer work
* Support initiatives that help seniors remain in their homes as long as possible
* Invest in research and programs that support and promote good health while aging
* Undertake activities to raise awareness of elder abuse and help prevent it

Source:
Seniors.gc.ca
http://www.seniors.gc.ca/

Action for Seniors is an initiative of
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/

Found in the September 17 issue of SPARmonitor
(see the next link below)

NEW from
Statistics Canada:

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

September 9, 2014
Study: Canadians with unmet home care needs, 2012
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/140909/dq140909a-eng.htm
In 2012, 792,000 Canadians 15 years of age and older reported that their needs for care in the home for a long-term illness, aging or disability condition were only partly met or not met at all.

Report : Canadians with unmet home care needs
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-006-x/2014001/article/14042-eng.htm
September 2014
By Martin Turcotte

Source:
Insights on Canadian Society
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=75-006-X&ObjType=2&lang=en&limit=0

Financial literacy leader focuses on seniors: Canada's new financial literacy leader, Jane Rooney, wants to build seniors' money skills in the first phase of developing a national strategy.
http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2014/07/06/financial_literacy_leader_focuses_on_seniors_roseman.html
By Ellen Roseman
July 6, 2014
(...)
...by April 2016, the federal government will stop mailing cheques and switch to a direct deposit system. Old age pensions, tax refunds and children’s benefits will be transferred electronically to your bank account. With the transition deadline less than two years away, Ottawa is pushing everyone to sign up for direct deposit.
(...)
Direct deposit could pose a problem for low-income seniors who rely on government payments to live on, says advocate John Stapleton.
“Banks still have black lists and won’t allow some people to have accounts, especially if they have defaulted and not paid on a bank product,” he says.
“Some of our very poorest and disenfranchised seniors are going to be further victimized. So cruel.”

John Stapleton, a former Ontario civil servant, uses his skills as a poverty expert to give tailored advice on low-income retirement planning.
[ See http://openpolicyontario.com/retiring-on-a-low-income-3/ ]

Jane Rooney is Canada’s first financial literacy leader, appointed last April.
[ See http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2014/04/15/financial_literacy_leader_finally_named_roseman.html ]

Source:
The Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

Related links:

Open Policy (John Stapleton's website/blog)
http://openpolicyontario.com/

Financial Consumer Agency
http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/

Toward a National Strategy for Financial Literacy
http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/financialLiteracy/financialLiteracyCanada/Pages/home-accueil.aspx
Canada is developing a National Strategy for Financial Literacy that will set out goals and priorities in working to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians. In its final report [ http://www.financialliteracyincanada.com/canadians-and-their-money.html ] in December 2010, the Task Force on Financial Literacy defined financial literacy as having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.

Financial literacy background
http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/financialLiteracy/financialLiteracyCanada/Pages/Background-Historique.aspx

Task Force on Financial Literacy
http://www.financialliteracyincanada.com/

Why the outgoing chair of Public Health Ontario is fighting for national home-care standards
http://www.thestar.com/news/ken_dryden_canada_day/2014/06/30/why_this_man_is_fighting_for_national_homecare_standards.html
By Theresa Boyle
June 30, 2014
Health policy professor Terry Sullivan, outgoing chair of Public Health Ontario, seeks to reduce inequities in publicly funded home and community care across Canada.
The University of Toronto professor's vision is for a "common, federally supported guarantee" for home care and community care services.
(...)
This would help reduce disparities that see some Canadians getting more publicly funded care than others, that result in some family caregivers facing greater pressure than others, and that force some Canadians dip into their pocketbooks more than others to supplement what is publicly covered.
A national strategy would also address funding shortfalls.

Source:
The Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

New from
Statistics Canada
:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html ]

June 13, 2014
Study: Receiving care at home, 2012
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/140613/dq140613c-eng.htm
In 2012, about 2.2 million Canadians with a long-term illness, disability or aging needs had received care in their own home in the last 12 months. This represented 8% of all Canadians aged 15 years or older. A new study using data from the 2012 General Social Survey found that the proportion of Canadians receiving care was similar across the country. The only exceptions were Newfoundland and Labrador, where the proportion was higher at 9%, and Alberta, where it was lower at 5%.

This release is based on the analytical paper Receiving care at home [ http://www.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?catno=89-652-X2014002&lang=eng ]. The report uses data from the 2012 General Social Survey on Caregiving and Care Receiving to examine Canadians who rely on care in the home, including the reason for care, the types of people providing help and the nature and intensity of care. It also looks at the satisfaction with the care received.

Related subjects:

Health
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2966&id=2966&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Health care services
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2966&id=2967&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Population and demography
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=3867&id=3867&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Population aging
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=3867&id=990&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Seniors
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=70000&id=70000&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Care and social support
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=70000&id=70001&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

---

Related links:

- Go to the Disability Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/disbkmrk.htm

- Go to the Health Links (Canada/International) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/health.htm

---

Also from StatCan:

June 10, 2014
Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds), fourth quarter 2013
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/140610/dq140610a-eng.htm
The market value of Canadian employer-sponsored pension funds totalled $1.3 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013, up 5.8% from the third quarter. Pension fund investments in stocks grew 9.4% in the fourth quarter, surpassing the 6.4% gain in the value of shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange for the same period. The value of bond holdings increased 3.6%, while investments in real estate assets grew 3.3%.

- includes two tables:
* Trusteed pension funds: Market value of assets by type
* Trusteed pension funds: Revenue and expenditures

Related subjects:

Income, pensions, spending and wealth
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=3868&id=3868&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Pension plans and funds and other retirement income programs
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=3868&id=70008&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Labour
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2621&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Non-wage benefits
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2628&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Seniors
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=70000&id=70000&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Income, pensions and wealth
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=70000&id=70005&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

A National Strategy on Aging in Canada?
(New Democratic Party of Canada)

Seniors Can't Age With Dignity Under the Conservative Plan
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/irene-mathyssen-mp/canada-aging-population_b_5454152.html
By Irene Mathyssen, MP (NDP) for London-Fanshawe
June 5, 2014
[As NDP Seniors Critic] I have been talking to seniors and seniors' organizations for the past few years, listening to what they have to say and learning what needs to be done. With that information I worked with my colleagues to build a National Aging Strategy. I am proud to say that strategy was released to a round table of stakeholders on June 3.

Our plan highlights the need for high-quality, accessible public health care. This is critical for seniors managing the demands of aging -- often coping with multiple and chronic health challenges. Our growing seniors population needs a proactive approach to their health care -- one that will also ease the upward pressure on health care costs.

Source:
Huffington Post Canada

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

---

From the
New Democratic Party of Canada:

Conservatives have failed Seniors:
NDP MPs host round table to release National Strategy on Aging

http://www.ndp.ca/news/conservatives-have-failed-seniors
June 3, 2014
OTTAWA – Tired by lack of action from the Conservatives since 2006, Canada’s Official Opposition New Democrats undertook extensive consultations with seniors and stakeholders to build a National Aging Strategy. Today, that strategy was released to a round table of stakeholders.

National Strategy on
Aging in Canada
(PDF - 556K, 12 pages)
http://xfer.ndp.ca/2014/aging-strategy/AgingStrategy-EN-PRINT.PDF

Source:
New Democratic Party of Canada
http://www.ndp.ca/

No piece of cake! Linda Chamberlain applies for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
http://openpolicyontario.com/blog-2/
May 16, 2014
By John Stapleton
After several years of speaking, counselling and writing about retiring on a low income [ http://openpolicyontario.com/retiring-on-a-low-income-3/ ], John Stapleton thought it would be a breeze to help his friend Linda Chamberlain to apply for the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), an income-tested top-up to the Old Age Security pension. Follow John and Linda's zany adventures in their dealings with the federal bureacrazy.
To be continued...

Source:
Open Policy (John Stapleton's blog)

http://openpolicyontario.com/

---

More information about the
Old Age Security (OAS) program, including the GIS:

http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/index.shtml

---

Federal Dept responsible for OAS/GIS:
Employment and Social Development Canada
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/


NEW from
Service Canada:

Quarterly report of Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security
monthly amounts and related figures - January to March 2015

HTML version : http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/infocard/janmar15.shtml
PDF version (81KB, 2 pages) : http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/janmar15.pdf

Table of Contents:
*
Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan Amounts
* Disability and Survivor Amounts
* Calculation of CPP Maximum Monthly Amounts For New Benefits
* Old Age Security
* OAS forecasted expenditures, 2014-15 (in millions)
* Other CPP/QPP figures
* CPP/QPP forecasted expenditures, 2014-15 (millions)

Earlier editions of this report (back to January - March 2013):
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/infocard/index.shtml

Source:
Service Canada

http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/

Related links:

Canada Pension Plan Retirement Pension
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/cpp/retirement/index.shtml

Old Age Security Pension
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/pension/index.shtml

From
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC):
[ http://www.esdc.gc.ca/ ]

Old Age Security (OAS)
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/pension/oas/index.page

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/pension/cpp/index.page

Source:
ESDC Retirement Pensions and Benefits
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/retirement/index.shtml

November 25, 2013

Updated links to Statistics on Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/statistics/index.shtml

Click the link above for links to the following
Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan statistics:

* ISP Information Card (Rate Card) - updated quarterly,gives the maximum monthly rates for Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits, as well as other selected figures.

* Tables of Amounts for Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Allowances are updated quarterly and list the benefit entitlements according to income level and marital status.

* Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Statistical Bulletin - a monthly publication that provides detailed information such as the number of benefits in pay, the amounts paid, and the distribution of various benefits by age and sex.

* Canada Pension Plan Contributors Tables - released annually and provide historical statistics on the number of contributors by places of residence and the distribution of contributors by earnings. Although the release is annual, the data are two years in arrears. This is due to ongoing updates of the Canada Revenue Agency T4 files prior to issuing.

* Canada Pension Plan Maximum Monthly Amounts of New Benefits - includes maximum monthly amounts for new CPP benefits from 1967 to date.

* Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits by Class of Diagnosis includes distribution of beneficiaries by age group updated on an annual basis. This annually updated table represents beneficiaries in pay as of December of each year.

* CPP and OAS Annual Statistics Tables contain historical data on CPP and OAS, average monthly benefits and net payments in fiscal years.

* Number and Amount of Benefits Paid Outside Canada to Countries with which Canada has concluded a Social Security Agreement to people who have lived or worked in another country.

Source:
Service Canada
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/

---

- Go to the Social Statistics Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/stats.htm



From Statistics Canada:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

April 10, 2014
Long-term Care Facilities Survey, 2011 and 2012
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/140410/dq140410d-eng.htm
Data from the Long-term Care Facilities Survey for 2011 and 2012 are now available.

February 24, 2014
Study: Emerging trends in living arrangements and conjugal unions for current and future seniors, 1981 to 2011
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/140224/dq140224a-eng.htm
Between 1981 and 2011, the share of seniors 65 years of age and older who lived with their spouse or partner increased, while the overall share of those in other living arrangements decreased. The conjugal lives of seniors also changed, as the proportion of those who were divorced or separated rose from 4% to 12% over the period.

Source:
Statistics Canada

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

When good advice goes bad
http://imagineacity.ca/2013/11/22/when-good-advice-goes-bad/
November 22, 2013
By Adrienne Clarke
This week, Imagine a City is joined by guest blogger John Stapleton, founder of Open Policy Ontario [ http://openpolicyontario.com/ ] and a fellow with the Metcalf Foundation [ http://metcalffoundation.com/ ] . He has some much-needed financial advice for low-income earners, just in time for Financial Literacy Month. Here, he provides a rundown of what low-income earners really need to know, and how the financial-services industry can serve them better.
---
Excerpt:
When assisting low-income people, for instance, many advisors will tell them to max out their RRSPs, forget about Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), and wait until 65 or later to sign up for Canada Pension. They’ll also be advised to look closely at their taxes to capitalize on tax credits.This is the same advice given (rightfully) to middle- and high-income earners, but for people making ends meet on lower incomes, it’s exactly wrong.

Source:
Imagineacity

http://imagineacity.ca/

Imagineacity is an initiative of the
United Way of Toronto
http://imagineacity.ca/

For more about RRSPs and TFSAs for people in poverty,
see John's comprehensive report:
Planning for Retirement on a Low Income
http://openpolicyontario.com/retiring-on-a-low-income-3/

---

- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (O-Z) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk4.htm

From Macleans:

Taxman won't go back to routinely mailing income tax forms: minister
http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/01/31/taxman-wont-go-back-to-routinely-mailing-income-tax-forms-minister/
January 31, 2013
OTTAWA - A major seniors' group called on the government Thursday to return to routinely mailing income tax forms but the minister in charge she doesn't plan to take that step. National Revenue Minister Gail Shea brushed off concerns raised by the opposition and a seniors' group that the new system isn't fair. "The way that Canadians file their taxes is changing and we are changing to meet those needs," Shea said.

Physical forms can still be picked up at post offices and Service Canada centres, or requested over the phone. But the decision to abandon the proactive mailings forces the millions who filed on paper last year to scramble to get a form, said Susan Eng, vice president of advocacy for CARP, an organization representing people over 50.
The organization wrote a formal protest letter to the minister on Thursday.

More than eight million Canadians filed on paper last year, she said.

---

From CARP, two articles about the
Harper Government™ decision to
eliminate the paper income tax form:

“We have not received a valid entry – Goodbye”
http://www.carp.ca/2013/02/08/we-have-not-received-a-valid-entry-goodbye/
February 8, 2013
Guest author John Stapleton (noted writer, professor, policy analyst, advocate, CARP member) writes about the tax form change and the abolition of the Telefile service.

Seniors forced to get tax forms from the post office receiving poor service
http://www.carp.ca/2013/02/08/seniors-forced-to-get-tax-forms-from-the-post-office-receiving-poor-service/
Editorial
February 8, 2013
As predicted, the CRA’s sudden and ill-advised shift in tax-form policy has created issues for everyone involved – but seniors and those who are mobility-challenged seem to be getting the worse of it. CARP recently issued an open-letter to Minister of Revenue Gail Shea, requesting the CRA reverse the decision and mail out tax form to those who submitted by mail last year as well as accommodate those who used the Telefile service – now also defunct. The Minister refused to consider CARP’s proposal saying that “the way Canadians file their taxes is changing and we are changing to meet those needs…”
---
By John Stapleton:
“Yesterday, I did a tour of local postal outlets and found all of the small ones to be out of the tax package – some had copies of the guide still available. Handmade signs ask people to come back on February 15th…
When I went to the large post office in the Atrium at Dundas and Yonge [ in Toronto], I witnessed a scene that has doubtless been repeated over and again. An elderly gentleman with a decided limp lined up in front of me and asked for the tax forms that had been (now) brought behind the counter.
He said he needed one for himself and his wife.
“Sorry” the clerk said “Only one per customer”.
The man said he needed one for his wife and he had a hard time getting around.
“Sorry – I told you – one per customer” (...)
---
This story perfectly illustrates the additional anxiety and grief the CRA is causing some seniors in the middle of the tax-season without warning. The Minister says the CRA is trying to better serve Canadians – are people who cannot file online not also Canadians? Then why should they be mistreated while trying to fulfill their civic duties?

Source:
CARP
http://www.carp.ca/
CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada’ promoting social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination.

Facts and Figures on Healthy Ageing and Long-term Care
Europe and North America
(PDF - 11.5MB, 122 pages)
http://www.euro.centre.org/data/LTC_Final.pdf
Editors : Ricardo Rodrigues / Manfred Huber / Giovanni Lamura
December 2012
The 2nd edition of the Facts and Figures on Healthy Ageing and Long-term Care provides information on the ageing phenomenon across the UNECE region.
It covers data and information on demography, social situation of older people, health, informal care, migrant care workers, public long-term care policies and expenditure for the countries of the UNECE.
It is meant as a tool to inform policy debate and inform decision-making by policy-makers. It provides easily accessible information on data and facts for academic experts and researchers to aid comparative analysis of healthy ageing and long-term care. It hopes to foster debate and raise awareness of the differences in ageing across the UNECE region and what they entail for citizens.

Contents:

Chapter 1: Demography
Chapter 2: Social connectedness
Chapter 3: Income and housing situation
Chapter 4: Health status, risk factors and prevention
Chapter 5: Informal care
Chapter 6: Migrant care work
Chapter 7: Long-term care services
Chapter 8: Expenditure on long-term care

Source:
December issue of the Newsletter of the European Centre
http://www.euro.centre.org/newsletter/Newsletter_December12.pdf
European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research
http://www.euro.centre.org/

Recent postings from
John Stapleton (Open Policy Ontario):

Registered Retirement Pension Plans (RRSPs) : A Tally of Advantages and Disadvantages (small PDF file - 1 page)
http://openpolicyontario.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/RRSP-disadvantages.pdf
Examines eight features of RRSPs with respect to advantages for the well-off and disadvantages for the poor.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Retiring on a Low Income (Powerpoint presentation - 64K, 11 slides)
http://openpolicyontario.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Retiring-on-a-Low-Incomeoct25.pptx
Community Launch
October 25, 2012
Contents:
* What is our income system for retirees in Ontario?
* Definition of low income
* Top Ten : Rogue's gallery of bad advice
* Why is mainstream financial advice wrong?
* What can be done

Source:
Retirement income for Canadians with low incomes
http://openpolicyontario.com/retiring-on-a-low-income-3/
By John Stapleton

Canadian Association for Mental Health (CAMH)
http://www.cmha.ca/

---

Source:
Open Policy - John Stapleton's website

http://openpolicyontario.com/

How RRSP payments can help seniors with benefits
http://goo.gl/xdkS2
By Preet Banerjee
Posted February 24, 2012
Updated September 10, 2012

There’s been a lot of talk about changes to the Old Age Security program lately, but the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) deserves a lot more attention. For low-income seniors, it could amount to almost $9,000 a year, but a general lack of knowledge in financial planning is leading some people to effectively turn it down.

GIS is a benefit received on top of OAS for seniors whose incomes are below $16,368 (single person). But just as OAS is subject to clawback over a certain threshold, so is GIS. The big difference is that GIS is more aggressively clawed back from people who arguably need it more. The OAS clawback begins once your income has reached close to $70,000 and is clawed back at a rate of 15 cents per dollar. GIS, on the other hand, is clawed back at a rate of 50 cents on the dollar for every dollar of income above $3,500.

This has led to the (not quite yet) conventional wisdom that the Tax Free Savings Account might be a better savings vehicle for low-income seniors. Well, it’s a bit more complicated than just that. It’s true that an RRSP or RRIF withdrawal made if you are eligible for GIS could effectively be taxed at around 70 per cent since you have to pay your marginal tax rate on the withdrawal and it can reduce your GIS payment by 50 cents per dollar. It’s also true that had that withdrawal come from a TFSA, the effective tax rate is zero, since the withdrawal does not affect income-tested benefits. “But there’s sort of an alternate universe that exists for lower-income seniors between 65 and 71”, says John Stapleton, a social policy consultant.

Remember that an RRSP contribution is an income deduction, so when you make a contribution, your income is lowered. Someone who is 65 and whose income is above $16,368 can reduce that income below the threshold by making an RRSP contribution. All of a sudden, that GIS tap is open.

“So yes, while the TFSA can be a better savings vehicle for many lower-income Canadians, you can’t just assume that will always be the case. You need to plan it out. Unfortunately, when I counsel people on this strategy I find that when they bring it to their bank, they get faced with a lot of blank stares”, Mr. Stapleton says.

12 comments about this article
http://goo.gl/CJpZI

Source:
Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

---

Related links:

Retirement income for Canadians with low incomes
http://openpolicyontario.com/retiring-on-a-low-income-3/
By John Stapleton

This new page of John Stapleton's Open Policy website contains a new series on retirement income for Canadians with low incomes.
[ NOTE : Some examples in the files below relate to Ontario only.]

1. Maximizing GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement):
A background paper on retirement financial planning for Canadians with very low incomes
(PDF - 1.5MB, 9 pages)
http://openpolicyontario.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/maximizing-Paper-V6.pdf
September 2012

2. Toolkit: Determining OAS (Old Age Security)
and GIS eligibility for people who come to Canada as adults
(PDF - 1MB, 5 pages)
http://openpolicyontario.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/TOOL-questionaireV7.pdf
September 2012

3. Low Income Retirement Planning: Four things to think about (PDF - 2.5MB, 11 pages)
http://openpolicyontario.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Slides-Booklet-V8all.pdf
September 2012
* How do I get the Guaranteed Income Supplement?
* Does CPP early retirement make sense for me?
* What’s the smartest way to save before I turn 65?
* A smart way to save between ages 65 and 71

Complete package of the three above files in one download (PDF - 4.9MB, 27 pages)
http://openpolicyontario.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/allinonelowincomeretirement.pdf
September 2012

Cover page of the report and testimonials
by Sherri Torjman, Richard Shillington and Don Drummond
(PDF - 376K, 2 pages)
http://openpolicyontario.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Press-Kit-Folder-V5.pdf
September 2012

Source:
Open Policy - John Stapleton's website

http://openpolicyontario.com/

---

Related links:

Low Income Retirement Planning in Canada: living in a different world
http://vibrantcanada.ca/blogs/john-stapleton/low-income-retirement-planning-canada-living-different-world
By John Stapleton
September 5, 2012
(...) For most people nearing retirement, the financial advice we get is based on two simple premises:
1. That our post-retirement income will be less than our pre-retirement income; and
2. That our taxable income will be lower at 65.
(...) [However,] for those on fixed incomes before age 65...the reality is that most low income seniors receive higher incomes when they turn 65. Old Age Security, combined with CPP and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, is often significantly higher than the social assistance, disability benefits, and low earnings they realize in the years leading up to age 65. And Old Age Security and CPP are taxable while social assistance and some disability benefits are not. This situation results in higher taxation once they reach 65, not lower.
(...) The document Planning for Retirement on a Low Income provides low income retirees and their advisors with the information and the tools they need to make the right decisions for their financial future:
*
When to take CPP early retirement
* When to avoid an RRSP
* When to buy a TFSA
* When to buy an RRSP

Source of this article:
Vibrantcanada.ca - Vibrant Communities Canada
http://vibrantcanada.ca/
Vibrantcanada.ca is a learning community of members, from diverse sectors, multi-sector roundtables, who share a common interest in reducing poverty, community engagement and collaboration. It is made up of individuals who are united in our desire to see one million people move beyond poverty all across Canada.

---

Low income senior’s income tax shock
http://www.moneyville.ca/article/1231097
By James Daw
July 29, 2012
This article is a case profile of a low-income senior, age 66, seeking advice about how to maximize a modest RRSP, while having minimal impact on her Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits. "Adeline" will have an income of $20,000 this year, including $2,927 from Ottawa’s Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). She was surprised to discover she would receive no GIS payments for the second half of the year, after she reported a one-time gain on the sale of some property on her 2011 tax return. Now she is worried she will lose more GIS payments once she starts to withdraw money from her modest $30,000 RRSP (registered retirement savings plan).
Source of the above article:
Moneyville
http://www.moneyville.ca/
---
Moneyville is a subsite of the
Toronto Star:

http://www.thestar.com/

---

- Go to the Asset-Based Social Policies Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/assets.htm

- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk3.htm

- Go to the Pension Reforms Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm

Ontario

Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE):
http://www.advocacycentreelderly.org/
The Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE) in Toronto is a specialty community legal clinic that was established to provide a range of legal services to low-income seniors in Ontario. The legal services include advice and representation to individual and group clients, public legal education, law reform and community development activities. ACE has been operating since 1984. ACE is funded through Legal Aid Ontario [ http://www.legalaid.on.ca/ ] and is the first legal clinic in Canada to specialize in the legal problems of seniors.

---
NOTE : Even if you're not from Ontario, I highly recommend checking out this excellent collection of online resources!
If you have a loved one who's advanci
ng in age and you're looking for a reliable source of legal information in one of the areas below, click through some of the links on the home page to get a legal perspective on the range of services for the elderly in Ontario.
---

Site content (areas of law):
Advance Care Planning - Consent and Capacity - Consumer Protection - Elder Abuse - Home Care - Hospitals - Long-Term Care Homes - General - Inquests - Rights - Pensions and Income - Powers of Attorney - Retirement Homes - Wills

The ACE Newsletter:

Spring/Summer 2012 issue (PDF - 1.2MB, 16 pages)
http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/sites/all/files/ACE_Spring_Newsletter_Vol9No1_web_0.pdf

Contents of this newsletter:
* Old Age Security : What Do The Proposed Changes Mean For Low-Income Adults?
* ACE Profiles: Dr. Samir K. Sinha – Newly Appointed Expert Lead For Ontario’s Seniors Care Strategy
* Information You Should Know If You Live In A Retirement Home
* Searching The “Consumer Beware” List
* Long-Term Care Home Task Force On Resident Care And Safety Releases Action Plan
* Ten Months In The Life Of An Articling Student At ACE
* Tips And Traps When Dealing With Long-Term Care
* News and Announcements

Past Newsletters (links to 20+ past issues back to Fall 2000)
http://www.advocacycentreelderly.org/ace_library_-_newsletters.php

What's new from The Daily:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/dai-quo/index-eng.htm
[Statistics Canada
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html ]

May 25, 2012
Pension plans in Canada, as of January 1, 2011
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/120525/dq120525a-eng.htm
Membership in registered pension plans (RPPs) in Canada amounted to 6,065,750 in 2010, an increase of 42,000 or 0.7% from 2009. Membership increased in public sector plans, but declined in private sector plans. Membership in public sector pension plans rose 1.8% to 3,140,970, while the number of members in private sector plans declined 0.5% to 2,924,790. As a result, the public sector accounted for 52% of total membership in RPPs, up from 46% a decade earlier. In the early 1980s, membership in the private sector represented almost 60% of total members. Women accounted for three-quarters of the increase in RPP membership. In 2010, they represented 62% of membership in the public sector and 37% in the private sector.
- includes one chart and one table : Registered pension plan membership, by sector and type of plan

Free CANSIM tables:

Tables 280-0008 to 280-0014:
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=280-0008..280-0014&p2=31

Tables 280-0016 to 280-0027
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=280-0016..280-0027&p2=31

Related subjects:

* Income, pensions, spending and wealth
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=3868&id=3868&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

* Pension plans and funds and other retirement income programs
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=3868&id=70008&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

* Labour
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/theme-theme.action?pid=2621&lang=eng&more=0

* Non-wage benefits
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/subtheme-soustheme.action?pid=2621&id=2628&lang=eng&more=0

From the
Library of Parliament:

Canada’s Aging Population and Public Policy (Seven-part series)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/social-e.htm
[NOTE: For a PDF version, click a link below, then (on the next page) click the PDF link just before the table of contents.]

1. Statistical Overview (Feb. 2012)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-63-e.htm

2. The Effects on Economic Growth and Government Finances (Dec. 2011)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-121-e.htm

3. The Effects on Health Care (Oct. 2011)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-122-e.htm

4. The Effects on Public Pensions (Aug. 2011)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-120-e.htm

5. The Effects on Employers and Employees (Feb. 2012)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2012-07-e.htm

6. The Effects on Home Care (Jan. 2012)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2012-03-e.htm

7. The Effects on Community Planning (Jan. 2012)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2012-02-e.htm

Source:
Parliamentary Information and Research Service of the Library of Parliament:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Library/VirtualLibrary/ResearchPublications-e.asp

From the
Caledon Institute of Social Policy:

Old Age Insecurity? (PDF - 128K, 29 pages)
http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/PDF/983ENG.pdf
By Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson
February 2012
The controversy over raising the age of entitlement for Old Age Security from 65 to 67 is taking attention away from alternative possible reforms of that vital program, and of Canada’s pension system generally. The allegation that Old Age Security will be unsustainable in future is more a political than a policy judgement, and the substantive evidence does not support it.

Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy

http://www.caledoninst.org/

---

- Go to the Pension Reforms Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm

How RRSP payments can help seniors with benefits
http://goo.gl/NxxTu
February 24, 2012
By Preet Banerjee
There’s been a lot of talk about changes to the Old Age Security program lately, but the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) deserves a lot more attention. For low-income seniors, it could amount to almost $9,000 a year, but a general lack of knowledge in financial planning is leading some people to effectively turn it down.
Tax Free Savings Account might be a better savings vehicle for low-income seniors. Well, it’s a bit more complicated than just that. It’s true that an RRSP or RRIF withdrawal made if you are eligible for GIS could effectively be taxed at around 70 per cent since you have to pay your marginal tax rate on the withdrawal and it can reduce your GIS payment by 50 cents per dollar. It’s also true that had that withdrawal come from a TFSA, the effective tax rate is zero, since the withdrawal does not affect income-tested benefits. “But there’s sort of an alternate universe that exists for lower-income seniors between 65 and 71”, says social policy consultant John Stapleton. (...) while the TFSA can be a better savings vehicle for many lower-income Canadians, you can’t just assume that will always be the case. You need to plan it out.
Source:
Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Old Age Security changes ahead?
February 4, 2012

For links to information on reforms to Canadian retirement pensions
(Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, etc.) - notably the recent proposal
to raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67 - see the Retirement Pension Reforms
page of this site:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm

New from The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

January 30, 2012
Perspectives on Labour and Income - January 2012 online edition
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/75-001-x2012001-eng.htm

The January 2012 online edition of Perspectives on Labour and Income, released today, features one article.

Seniors returning to Canada
January 2012

Highlights:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/2012001/article/11618/11618hl-fs-eng.htm

Full article:

HTML version
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/2012001/article/11618-eng.htm

PDF version (231K, 14 pages)
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/2012001/article/11618-eng.pdf
This article uses census data to address several questions related to Canadian residents who previously emigrated to other countries: Do seniors account for a large proportion of returned emigrants? From where do older emigrants return? Do the characteristics of older returned emigrants differ from those of older Canadians who did not live abroad? Do the amounts and sources of income received in old age differ between these groups? How do all these results differ for Canadian-born versus immigrant returnees?

Source:
Perspectives on Labour and Income - product main page*
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?catno=75-001-X&lang=eng
This publication brings together and analyzes a wide range of labour and income data. Topics include youth in the labour market, pensions and retirement, work arrangements, education and training, and trends in family income.
[ * On the product main page, click "View" to see the latest issue of this report online; click "Chronological index" for earlier issues. ]


January 23, 2012
Profile of seniors’ transportation habits
By Martin Turcotte
HTML version
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2012001/article/11619-eng.htm
PDF version (148K, 16 pages)
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2012001/article/11619-eng.pdf

This article examines various issues related to seniors’ access to transportation and to a vehicle. The first part focuses on determining which seniors have a driver’s licence and drive a car, including those with the weakest visual, auditory, motor and cognitive faculties. The second part of the article describes seniors’ main forms of transportation other than driving a car. The last part examines the impact of seniors’ main form of transportation on their level of social participation.

Source:
Canadian Social Trends - Product main page*
This publication discusses the social, economic, and demographic changes affecting the lives of Canadians
[ * Click "View" for the latest issue of this periodical;
click "Chronological index" for earlier editions. ]

New from The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

June 22, 2011
The Income Management Strategies of Older Couples in Canada
Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series
By Christine Laporte and Grant Schellenberg
Abstract
Executive summary
Main article
Tables
Appendices
User information
PDF version

Source:
The Income Management Strategies of Older Couples in Canada - main product page*
In this study, the income management strategies of Canadian couples are examined using data from the 2007 General Social Survey. The extent to which "older" couples, in which at least one spouse or partner is aged 45 or older, employ an allocative, pooled, or separate strategy is explored. Results show that the income management strategies used by these couples are correlated with relationship characteristics, such as common-law status, duration of relationship, and the presence of children. As well, the likelihood of using a separate approach is positively correlated with levels of educational attainment and with the amount of income received by wives or female partners.

---
* On the product main page, click "View" to see the latest issue
of this report online; click "Chronological index" for earlier issues of Analytical Studies Branch papers.

---

Study: How personal bankruptcy affects retirement plans, 2007
April 2011
According to the 2007 General Social Survey, almost 8% of non-retired Canadians aged 45 to 64, or more than 480,000 people, had experienced at least one bankruptcy during their adulthood. On average, they were 40 years old at the time. Those who had experienced bankruptcy had lower levels of education and were more likely to have a history of changing jobs more frequently than those who had no history of bankruptcy.

Complete article:
HTML version
PDF version
(128K, 11 pages)

Related subjects:
* Seniors
* Housing and living arrangements
* Work and retirement

Source:
Canadian Social Trends - Product main page*
This publication discusses the social, economic, and demographic changes affecting the lives of Canadians
[ * Click "View" for the latest issue of this periodical;
click "Chronological index" for earlier editions. ]
't on the Institute's site as at 4pm April 29.
Check their website to see if the new link is posted...

The Remaining Light - A CCPA documentary film about how we care for seniors
February 8, 2011
Announcing the release of our first documentary film!
The Remaining Light journeys through an often invisible part of Canada's health care system -- the community-based services that provide care to seniors as they age and die. The film features the stories of seniors and their families, and explores themes of dignity, preventing illness and social isolation, and keeping health care costs under control as the boomer generation ages.

The Remaining Light is set in British Columbia, where the province's Ombudsperson is carrying out an investigation into a fragmented and underfunded system of seniors care. But the film's themes and stories will resonate with people across Canada who worry that we are not providing seniors with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Financial Literacy and the Take-up of Government Benefits (PDF - 585K, 41 pages)
Research paper prepared for the
Task Force on Financial Literacy
By Richard Shillington
File dated February 4, 2011
- includes detailed information on the utilization of government benefits for saving, child-rearing, education and retirement in Canada
(Old Age Security - Guaranteed Income Supplement - Canada Pension Plan - Disability Benefits - Student Loans - more...)

Source:
Task Force on Financial Literacy in Canada
In the 2009 budget, the Minister of Finance announced his intention to establish a national task force dedicated to the issue of financial literacy. Appointed in June 2009, the Task Force on Financial Literacy is comprised of 13 members, drawn from the business and education sectors, community organizations and academia.
- incl. links to : * Home * About the Task Force * Report of the Task Force * Consulting with Canadians* Media * Contact Us * Links

-------------------------

Related articles
in the media:

Ottawa must honour millions in unclaimed pension benefits
February 11, 2011
When Canadians are neglecting to collect benefits to which they are entitled, governments should take that as a sign that there is a financial literacy gap and make an effort to close it. That means they should be doing more to contact the 150,000 people who qualify for, but are not receiving, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which is only available to the lowestincome seniors. They need to find out why another 160,000 eligible seniors are not collecting their Old Age Security benefits.
Source:
Vancouver Sun

---

Evidence of financial illiteracy?
Thousands fail to collect government benefits

By Jonathan Chevreau
February 9, 2011
After 18 months, the Task Force on Financial Literacy has delivered a 106-page report (86 if you don’t count appendixes) to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. (...) There are 30 main recommendations, beginning with the call to appoint a national Financial Literacy Leader reporting to Mr. Flaherty. It wants to make financial literacy an “essential skill” in the government’s Essential Skills Framework and wants all the provinces and school boards to jump aboard. (...) It also urges the creation of a “single source website for financial literacy” and recommends that financial firms and regulators intensify their efforts to combat fraud. (...)
Low take-up of government benefits
The report shows some interesting stats on the need for financial literacy when it comes to taking up government benefits. It says 160,000 eligible seniors don’t get Old Age Security ($1 billion worth); 150,000 don’t get the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and 55,000 aren’t getting the Canada Pension Plan. Also, the take up for the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) is just 40% while the median RRSP contribution represents only 6% of total eligible room. That’s my definition of being financially illiterate — failing to take free money when it’s available.
Source:
Financial Post

---

Billions in government benefits
unclaimed by Canadians: task force
(dead link)
By Andrew Duffy
February 9, 2011
Billions of dollars worth of government benefits are going unclaimed by Canadians, according to a federal task force on financial literacy. The task force, which reported Wednesday, said the government should simplify its programs and application forms to ensure more Canadians benefit from the financial support to which they're entitled. (...) A research report prepared for the task force examined why some government programs have such poor "take-up" rates. Those rates are considered an important measure of financial literacy. The report concluded that language and poverty often present barriers, particularly when the programs or application forms are complex. "Lower-income Canadians face distinct financial literacy challenges in being aware of and accessing the very government programs that are targeted to them," concluded researcher Richard Shillington.
Source:
Vancouver Sun

Selected content from
The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

Study: How personal bankruptcy affects retirement plans, 2007
April 2011
According to the 2007 General Social Survey, almost 8% of non-retired Canadians aged 45 to 64, or more than 480,000 people, had experienced at least one bankruptcy during their adulthood. On average, they were 40 years old at the time. Those who had experienced bankruptcy had lower levels of education and were more likely to have a history of changing jobs more frequently than those who had no history of bankruptcy.

Complete article:
HTML version
PDF version
(128K, 11 pages)

Related subjects:
* Seniors
* Housing and living arrangements
* Work and retirement

Source:
Canadian Social Trends - Product main page*
This publication discusses the social, economic, and demographic changes affecting the lives of Canadians
[ * Click "View" for the latest issue of this periodical;
click "Chronological index" for earlier editions. ]

---

January 31, 2011
Two articles from
Perspectives on Labour and Income - January 2011 issue:

1. Retirement, health and employment among those 55 plus

Study: Retirement, health and employment among older Canadians, 2009
Older workers end their employment careers in different ways and for a variety of reasons. Many stay on the job past the point when others retire; others opt for partial retirement, while some who have retired subsequently re-enter the workforce. And, of course, many will fully retire from the world of work. Using data from the 2009 Healthy Aging cycle of the Canadian Community Health Survey, this study examined Canadians age 55 and over who had fully retired, those who had partially retired, those who had retired and returned to work, and those who had never retired. Each of the four groups faces different circumstances.

Highlights

Full article:
* HTML
* PDF
(242K, 14 pages)

---

2. Seniors' self-employment
A substantial proportion of working seniors are self-employed. This article uses census data to study self-employment among senior men and women. Trends in self-employment rates and categories are presented, along with occupational and industrial profiles. In addition, 2006 data are used to study factors associated with self-employment.

Highlights

Full article:
* HTML
* PDF
(272K, 14 pages)
Abstract: A substantial proportion of working seniors are self-employed. This article uses census data to study self-employment among senior men and women. Trends in self-employment rates and categories are presented, along with occupational and industrial profiles. In addition, 2006 data are used to study factors associated with self-employment.

---

Source:
Perspectives on Labour and Income - product main page*
This publication brings together and analyzes a wide range of labour and income data. Topics include youth in the labour market, pensions and retirement, work arrangements, education and training, and trends in family income.
* On the product main page, click "View" to see the latest issue of this report online; click "Chronological index" for earlier issues

Related subjects:
* Health
* Lifestyle and social conditions
* Population and demography
* Population aging
* Seniors
* Health and disability among seniors

---

November 12, 2010
Pension Satellite Account, 2009
After a steep decline in 2008, the total value of pension assets rebounded in 2009 to $2.1 trillion at year end, reflecting the strong performance of global equity markets that began in March 2009. This rebound (+15.5%) brought pension assets close to their 2007 level. The recovery in wealth accumulation during 2009 was relatively evenly distributed across the three pension tiers. Individual registered saving plans led the way, up 20.5% to $750.9 billion. Social security and employer-based pension plans were up 13.3% and 12.8%, respectively.

Related link:

Guide to the Canadian Pension Satellite Account
[Use the links in the left margin to navigate this report,
or download the PDF version - 153K, 19 pages)
This guide presents an overview of the scope and structure of the Pension Satellite Account as well as the methodology used to derive its stocks and flows estimates.

Source:
The Daily
[Statistics Canada]

Are you affected by the changes being made to the
Canada Pension Plan retirement pension starting January 2011?

These changes will affect you if you are:
* an employee who contributes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), whether you are just starting your career or you are planning to retire soon;
* a self-employed person who contributes to the CPP;
* between the ages of 60 and 70 and you work while receiving your CPP retirement pension; or
* an employer who contributes to the CPP on behalf of your employees.
You will not be affected by these changes if you started receiving a CPP retirement pension before December 31, 2010, and you stay out of the work force.
Click the link above to see how the upcoming changes can affect YOUR retirement pension.

Atlas of productive ageing
20 September 2010
The Atlas provides statistics on the population, health, finance, housing and activity of older Australians. The data are available by state and regional areas.
Source:
Australian Policy Online (APO)
APO is a news service and library specialising in Australian public policy reports and articles from academic research centres, think tanks, government and non-government organisations

Canadians support increase in Canada Pension Plan benefits
October 15, 2010
More than three quarters of Canadians support increasing Canada Pension Plan benefits, according to a new national survey released today. Eighty percent of Canadians also support increasing federal payments to senior citizens and half of the survey respondents believe the government is moving too slow in reforming Canada’s pension system. The Future of Pensions poll was completed by Environics Research Group in late August for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Public Service Alliance of Canada. It surveyed 2,020 Canadians and has a margin of error of +/-2.2 per cent 19 times out of 20. (...) T
he survey asked Canadians their views on saving and their expectations for retirement. While many Canadians have set up a Retirement Savings Plan or a Tax-Free Savings Account, four in 10 acknowledge that they are not saving for retirement—mostly because they cannot afford to. (...) Poll respondents also overwhelmingly support increasing Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplements for those living below the poverty line. OAS and GIS payments amount to only $11,000 per year.

Detailed Poll Highlights

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Public Service Alliance of Canada
Together, CUPE and PSAC represent more than 800,000 public sector workers across Canada. Both organizations have been advocating for retirement security for all Canadians.

Selected content from
The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

July 29, 2010
Replacing Family Income During the
Retirement Years: How Are Canadians Doing?

By S. LaRochelle-Côté, J. Myles and G. Picot
Analytical Studies Branch
1. Abstract
2. Executive summary
3. Main article
4. Tables
5. Charts
6. Appendices
7. User information
8. PDF version (538K, 23 pages)

[ earlier studies by the Analytical Studies Branch ]

---

July 26, 2010
Study: Impact of home equity on
incomes of retirement-age households, 2006

The equity that homeowners have built up through a lifetime of investment in their homes makes an important contribution to household finances as they enter retirement.

---

May 25, 2010
Pension plans in Canada, as of January 1, 2009
Membership in registered pension plans (RPPs) increased 1.7% in 2008 to just over 6.0 million, the first time the number of active participants has surpassed that level. The number of registered pension plans as of January 1, 2009 remained virtually unchanged at 19,200.
- incl. table: Registered pension plan membership by sector and type of plan.

Related subjects:
* Business, consumer and property services
* Professional, scientific and technical services
* Seniors
* Income, pensions and wealth

---

March 26, 2010
Participation in private retirement savings plans, 2008
Just over 8.9 million employed Canadian tax filers participated in a private retirement savings plan in 2008, about 50% of all tax filers. This proportion was down from 54% in 1997. There was a decrease in the share of employed tax filers who contributed to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) during the decade. In 1997, 41% of employed tax filers participated in an RRSP; by 2008, this proportion had declined to 34%.

The report:

Participation in private retirement savings plans, 1997 - 2008
March 2010
HTML version - table of contents (links are in the left-hand margin) + Abstract, Intro and Highlights
PDF version (285K, 35 pages)

Related subjects:
* Income, pensions, spending and wealth
* Pension plans and funds and other retirement income programs
* Seniors
* Income, pensions and wealth

Source:
The Daily
[Statistics Canada]

---

Public consultation on ensuring the ongoing
strength of Canada's retirement income system
March 24 - May 14, 2010

Ensuring the Ongoing Strength
of Canada’s Retirement Income System
*
- provides background information on Canada's retirement income system;
- provides an overview of research on retirement income adequacy;
- describes a variety of proposals in the public domain relating to Canada's retirement income system; and
- solicits views of Canadians on Canada's retirement income system and how to ensure its ongoing strength.

* NOTE: Recommended reading - includes over a dozen links to related and contextual information in areas such as:
- Canada's Government Supported Retirement Income System
- Research on Retirement Income Adequacy
- Considerations for Evaluating Retirement Income System Issues
- Range of Proposals in the Public Domain
- Summary of Questions

This public consultation took place from March 24 to May 14, 2010.

Related link:

News Release
March 24, 2010
The federal government today announced the launch of online consultations and a series of cross-country roundtable discussions, speaking engagements and town hall meetings to gather input from Canadians on ensuring the ongoing strength of Canada’s retirement income system. The consultations will inform discussions at the next meeting of federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Finance in May, where the retirement income system will be a key agenda item.
Source:
Department of Finance Canada

The Care Guide
http://www.thecareguide.com/home.aspx

* World Population Ageing 2009 (PDF - 894K, 82 pages) - February 2010
This report provides a description of global trends in population ageing and includes a series of indicators of the ageing process by development regions, major areas, regions and countries. This new edition includes new features on ageing in rural and urban areas, the coverage of pension systems and the impact of the 2007-2008 financial crisis on pension systems. The report is intended to provide a solid demographic foundation for the follow-up activities of the Second World Assembly on Ageing.

Source:
United Nations Department
of Economic and Social Affairs
- DESA
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs provides support services to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the principal body coordinating the economic and social work of the United Nations and its operational arms.

[ UN Economic and Social Council - ECOSOC
ECOSOC was established under the United Nations Charter as the principal organ to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions.]

CARP E-VOICE:
One Très Cool Advocacy Tool!

Want to send an email message to your federal or provincial elected officials?
Click the link above to access the complete list of federal Members of Parliament by name, by province/territory or by riding.
Click "Switch to Provincial Representatives (MPP's)" near the bottom of that page for the complete list of provincial/territorial elected officials.
Clicking on the name of an MP or an MPP opens a new page with a form that's pre-addressed from you to that individual and a text box where you can record your message.
Then hit the SEND button and your email is on its way.
Simple.
Powerful.
NOTE: the blurb on the CARP E-VOICE page suggests that you can use CARP E-VOICE to support CARP initiatives, but I'm sure the nice folks at CARP wouldn't mind if Canadian social justice groups used this excellent tool for communicating with their elected officials...
Source:
CARP

Old Age Security system needs strengthening: report
Press Release
November 25, 2009
OTTAWA—Canada’s Old Age Security system needs improvement in order to help ensure the economic security and dignity of Canadians in retirement, says a new report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The report, by pension expert and CCPA Research Associate Monica Townson, reviews OAS and its associated programs of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and the Allowance and discusses measures that could be taken to strengthen this part of Canada’s pension system.

Complete report:

A Stronger Foundation: Pension Reform and Old Age Security (PDF - 146K, 7 pages)
By Monica Townson
November 2009

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.

Also from CCPA:

Pension system needs urgent attention: report
Press Release
October 8, 2009
OTTAWA— Canada’s pension system needs urgent attention, says a new report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The report, by CCPA Research Associate and pension expert Monica Townson, outlines some of the problems with Canada’s pension system and examines some of the options that have been proposed to deal with them.

Complete report:

What Can We Do About Pensions? (PDF - 147K, 9 pages)
By Monica Townson
October 2009

Minister of Finance Modernizes Federal Pension Framework
October 27, 2009
News Release
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released an important reform plan for the federal private pension legislative and regulatory framework. (...) Today’s announcement comes out of extensive consultations with Canadians, beginning with the January release of a discussion paper, Strengthening the Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Private Pension Plans Subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985, and including online consultations. (...)
The package includes measures to:
* Enhance protections for plan members.
* Reduce funding volatility for defined benefit plans.
* Make it easier for participants to negotiate changes to their pension arrangements.
* Improve the framework for defined contribution plans and for negotiated contribution plans.
* Modernize the rules for investments made by pension funds.

Backgrounder - detailed information on each of the five measures

Source:
Finance Canada

NEW


NOTE:
For links to information on
reforms to Canadian retirement pensions (Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, etc.), see the Retirement Pension Reforms page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm


From The Globe and Mail:

Retirement Lost (seven-part series - October 16-24, 2009)
Canada's retirement dreams are under siege, weakened by underfunding and hobbled by the global recession.
It's a national crisis with no easy answers.

* Part one: The crisis
--- Retirement dreams under siege

By Jacquie McNish
October 16, 2009
- incl. links to: * Article * Video * Photos * Pension scenarios * Comments (198)
What you need to know:
--- 84% of public service workers have pensions.
--- 78% of these plans are gold plated defined benefit pensions
--- 25% of private sector workers have a pension plan
--- 16% of these plans are gold plated defined benefit pensions
--- 11 million workers, or 60 per cent, of Canada’s workers have no pension at all
--- 8 million or 45 per cent, have no pensions or registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)

* Part Two: Manufacturing's wreckage
--- Bankrupt companies, pension promises destroyed
By Greg Keenan
October 18, 2009
- incl. links to : * Article * Video * Photos * The history of pensions (recommended by Gilles!) * Comments (124)
What you need to know:
--- 17.6 million: Number of people in the Canadian work force.
--- 11 million: Number of Canadian workers without pension plans.
--- 4 million: Number of those workers with registered retirement savings plans.
--- 10,000: Number of pension plans in Canada.
---- 4.5 million: Workers with pension plans who have defined benefit plans that guarantee the pension income of retirees until they die.
--- 55 per cent: Amount of those plans held by public sector employees.
--- $25,000: Average pension per year.

* Part three: Death of the traditional plan
--- Hybrid pension plans: a hard sell
By Janet McFarland
October 19, 2009
- incl. links to : * Article * Video * Photos * The history of pensions * Comments (36)
As companies weigh alternatives for the future, a crucial choice comes down to a pair of innocuously simple-looking bits of shorthand: Will the future be DB (Defined Benefit) or DC (Defined Contribution)? Traditional pension plans are DB, defined benefit. A retiree covered by the plan is guaranteed a given level of income. If the plan falls short, the employer is on the hook. The new model, increasingly favoured by employers, is DC, defined contribution. In this approach, the employer’s responsibility is limited to making a certain (“defined”) contribution to the employees’ pension plan. Contributions made by both the employer and employee go into an individual account for the employee, who makes his or her own investment choices. If the plan falls short, the employee is on the hook.

* Part four: Conflicts of interest
--- Financial planning: Whom should you trust?
By Rob Carrick
October 20, 2009
- incl. links to : * Article * Video * Photos * The history of pensions * Comments (78)
As pensions become unreliable, more Canadians are being forced to plan for retirement themselves. But whom do you turn to for help? The experience of one couple who relied on a financial adviser is a cautionary tale.

* Part five: Underfunded dreams
--- No pension safety net for self-employed
By Andrew Willis
October 21, 2009
- incl. links to : * Article * Video * Photos * The history of pensions * Comments (59)
Meet the next generation of retirees: middle-class workers without pensions who are left to their own devices and facing an uncertain financial future. As formal pension plans become increasingly less common, many Canadians face a savings burden that many are unwilling – or unable – to shoulder.

* Part six: Steps to financial freedom
--- Freedom 55? Couple couldn’t wait that long for retirement
By John Heinzl
October 22, 2009
- incl. links to : * Article * Video * Photos * The history of pensions * Comments (84)
In a society that encourages consumers to borrow and spend, in which the pressure to upgrade homes, cars and gadgets never stops, living within one’s means and staying out of debt is a challenge. But for people who make a middle-class salary, the “boring” approach may be the surest route to building wealth and achieving financial security, say those who have done it.

* Part seven: Reforming a broken system
--- Canada's gathering pension storm
By Konrad Yakabuski
October 23, 2009
- incl. links to : * Article * Video * Photos * The history of pensions * Comments (36)
Italy may be one of the worst off, but all developed countries, along with China, will experience unprecedented economic and social pressure in coming decades as their populations grey. Few, if any, have prepared for the demographic tsunami that will hit them as the baby boom generation heads into its golden years. By comparison, Canadians have some reason to feel fiscally smug, with a public pension system considered one of the world’s most financially sustainable. There’s only one catch: That system pays among the least generous government-sponsored benefits in the developed world.

Source:
The Globe and Mail


For links to information on Canadian
retirement pension reforms,
see the Retirement Pension Reforms page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm


National Seniors Council

The National Seniors Council was established to advise the Government of Canada on all matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors.


Federal, Provincial and Territorial Finance Ministers
to Discuss Economy and Retirement Income Adequacy at December Meeting

August 5, 2009
News Release
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that he will meet with his provincial and territorial counterparts December 17-18, 2009, in Whitehorse, to discuss continuing progress in strengthening Canada’s economy and to receive the report of the Research Working Group on Retirement Income Adequacy. (...) At their last meeting on May 25, 2009, federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers agreed to create the Research Working Group on Retirement Income Adequacy to expand the knowledge base underpinning the subject of retirement income adequacy. This group, chaired by Ted Menzies, parliamentary secretary to Minister Flaherty, and supported by research director Jack Mintz and finance ministers from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia, is to report to finance ministers and ministers responsible for pensions by the end of 2009. The first meeting of this group was held on July 22, 2009, in Calgary and participants agreed to a work plan, which will culminate in a report to ministers.
Source:
Finance Canada

New Horizons for Seniors Program — The calls for proposals for Community Participation and Leadership Funding and Capital Assistance Funding are now open in Quebec until September 11, 2009.
NOTE: this last item was actually in the May What's New update for HRSDC



Reforming retirement-income systems : Lessons from recent experiences of OECD countries
(PDF - 336K, 27 pages)
J. P. Martin and E. Whitehouse
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
, Paris
OECD social, employment and migration working papers, n° 66
June 2008
(INCLUDES CANADA)
Summary:
Reforming pensions looms large over the policy agenda of OECD countries. This is hardly surprising since public spending on pensions accounted on average for 7 per cent of OECD GDP in 2005; and this pension spending effort is set to increase significantly over the coming decades in response to population ageing. Pension policy is indeed challenging and controversial because it involves long-term decisions in the face of numerous short-term political pressures. However, the status quo does not always win out so far as pension reform in concerned: public finance crises and the looming threat of ageing populations have proved effective spurs for reform. As a result, much has been done since the early 1990s to make pension systems fit for the future. Nearly all the 30 OECD countries have made at least some changes to their pension systems in that period. In 16 of them, there have been major reforms that will significantly affect future benefits. However, the status quo does not always win out so far as pension reform in concerned: public finance crises and the looming threat of ageing populations have proved effective spurs for reform. As a result, much has been done since the early 1990s to make pension systems fit for the future. Nearly all the 30 OECD countries have made at least some changes to their pension systems in that period. In 16 of them, there have been major reforms that will significantly affect future benefits.
Found in:
CERC Bulletin N°158 - July 21, 2008
[NOTE: click the bulletin link to access more studies and reports]
From the Council for Employment, Income and Social Cohesion - Paris



Human Resources and Social Development Canada Public Consultations Website (dead link)
"
Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) is committed to consulting with Canadians on the issues that affect their daily lives. Through consultations, the department gains a greater understanding of the perspectives of a wide range of citizens, stakeholders and experts and therefore develops better, more informed and more effective policies and programs for Canadians.
Your opinion matters (bolding added). We invite you to visit this site regularly to learn more about our consultation activities and how you can get involved."
Source:
Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC)

<begin rant>

HEY, HRSDC - QUIT DELETING CONTENT FROM YOUR SITE!
If my opinion matters, as per the intro to your consultations website, at least you could have the decency to leave links to completed consultations on your website.
In the summer of 2005, Social Development Canada (as HRSDC was known at that time) launched a public consultations website [ http://sdc-dsc.dialoguecircles.com/ ].
During the course of that summer and fall, SDC also launched three separate consultations (see below) - for persons with disabilities, seniors and caregivers.
All three consultations have vanished from the HRSDC website. You can't even find them using the HRSDC site search.
I understand that (a) the consultation period is long past, (b) that Steve Harper's Tories (Canada's Old New Government) took over the reigns of power early in 2006, and (c) that new governments like to build new websites.
Oh wait - never mind.
That explains it : New Government, new website, dump the old stuff, eh...

Internet Archive to the rescue!
Click the link in the previous line, then copy and paste this URL [ http://sdc-dsc.dialoguecircles.com ] into the box called "The Wayback Machine" in the centre of the page.
The results page is a collection of a dozen links to snapshots of the complete SDC consultations website; the latest link (Feb. 2007) appears below.

Here's a link to the (HR)SDC Public Consultation site
as it existed in February of 2007

Click the link above; on the next page that appears, click the links in left-hand margin of the page to go to the main consultation page for any one of the three missing consultations.

HINT: the "Resource Area" for each consultation contains links to some excellent related online resources, including: General Documents - Outcome Documents from Roundtables - Information on Government of Canada Programs - Government of Canada Publications - Government of Canada Seniors-Related Web Sites

------------------------------------------------------------------

Persons with Disabilities Consultation Internet Archive version (02/07)
"In a world of 'full participation', persons with disabilities would have equal access to the physical environments in which we work, live and play. Media and information would be equally available to those with sight, hearing, dexterity or mental disabilities..."

Resource Area - Internet Archive version (02/07)

------------------------------------------------------------------

Seniors Consultation - Internet Archive version (02/07) (dead link)
While Canadian seniors today enjoy more supports and services than ever before, many still face important challenges in areas such as health, financial security, public safety, housing, and social participation. Not surprisingly, the thought of living as a senior holds promise for some, and uncertainty for others. (...)

Resource Area - Internet Archive version (02/07)

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Caregivers Consultation - Internet Archive version (02/07)
Across the country, Canadians are caring for members of their families, their neighbours and their friends. Each caregiving situation is unique, and each caregiving relationship is different.

Resource Area - Internet Archive version (02/07)

</end rant>

Related Links:

For a list of consultations currently underway in other federal departments, please visit the
Government of Canada’s Consulting with Canadians website



A Tale of Two Pension Plans: The Differing Fortunes of the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans (PDF file - 192K, 46 pages)
Ed Tamagno
January 2008
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) are headed towards an historical crossroads. The most recent actuarial valuation of the CPP shows that the federal scheme is sound in its financing and should remain financially sound for the foreseeable future, without the need for any increase in its contribution rate over the next 75 years. Not entirely so, however, for the QPP. Although the Quebec plan is in no imminent financial difficulty, its most recent actuarial valuation indicates that changes to the QPP’s financing or benefits must be made well before 2050 or the scheme will be unable to meet its commitments fully after that year. This paper examines the reasons for the divergence in the financial projections of the Canada and the Quebec Pension Plans and proposes ways in which the parallelism of the two schemes, which has been a mainstay of federal and provincial policy for over four decades, can be maintained.
Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy


Old Age Security Tribunal Summaries Online
The Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals (CPP/OAS) has added a database Old Age Security case summaries, conditions of personal information disclosure, general public information on legal assistance and links to recent publications.
OAS Decision Summaries Database

NOTE:
On April 1, 2013, the new Social Security Tribunal (SST) became responsible for appeals under the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Act. The Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals is no longer receiving applications or holding hearings and has now completed its work. All outstanding appeals and related matters have been transferred to the SST.

As of April 1, 2013, all appeals for Employment Insurance (EI), the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), and Old Age Security (OAS) must be submitted to the SST. The first year will be a transition period. During this time, the SST will consider all new appeals while the former tribunals gradually finalize their operations. Appeals filed with the Office of the Commissioner of the Review Tribunals (OCRT), the Pension Appeals Board (PAB) and the Office of the Umpire (OU) which have not been heard by April 1, 2013 have been transferred to the SST. The Employment Insurance Board of Referees will continue to hear appeals filed before April 1, 2013, and will issue decisions on these appeals no later than October 31, 2013.

On April 1, 2014 the SST will be the only body hearing and deciding first and second level appeals for EI, CPP and OAS.

Information about the new appeals process and contact information for the SST can be found on its website at:
http://www.canada.gc.ca/sst-tss/home-accueil-eng.html

Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)
"The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is the primary regulator of federally chartered financial institutions and federally administered pension plans."
Actuarial Reports
- read actuarial reports on the following subjects: Canada Pension Plan - Old Age Security - Canada Student Loans Program - Canadian Forces - Federally Appointed Judges - Members of Parliament - Public Service of Canada.


2006 November Report of the Auditor General of Canada

Matters of Special Importance—2006
An Overview of the Federal Government's Expenditure Management System
Chapter 1—Expenditure Management System at the Government Centre
Chapter 2—Expenditure Management System in Departments
Chapter 3—Large Information Technology Projects
Chapter 4—Proper Conduct of Public Business—Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Agencies
Chapter 5—Relocating Members of the Canadian Forces, RCMP, and Federal Public Service
Chapter 6 : Old Age Security - Human Resources and Social Development Canada and Service Canada
"(...)Human Resources and Social Development Canada and Service Canada have improved seniors' access to program benefits by simplifying the application process and by implementing initiatives to increase the take-up of GIS. However, the organizations lack adequate information on these and other aspects of their service to clients, and do not give Parliament a complete picture of program performance.

Source:
Office of the Auditor-General of Canada

Public pension consultations/reforms
March/April 2009

A brief history of pensions.
Pay attention because you may be about to lose yours

August 1, 2009
By Thomas Walkom
The drive to dismantle the welfare state has a new target. Governments have already gutted unemployment insurance and social assistance. Out-of-date labour laws make it tough to organize unions in the new, decentralized, service-based economy. Now, thanks in large part to the dynamics of the recession, pensions are under attack. (...) Even before this recession hit, it was clear that pensions were under the gun. Good retirement benefits, like good wages, interfere with what economists call labour market flexibility – that is, the willingness of workers to take low-wage jobs.
Source:
The Toronto Star

---

From the
Toronto Star
:

$7M bonus as CPP loses $24B
May 29, 2009
OTTAWA–Four top executives of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board pocketed nearly $7 million in bonuses this year despite losing $24 billion of taxpayers' money in bad investments, according to the board's annual report released yesterday.

---

Reform pensions now, expert says
Canada should admit millions of its citizens will never get the retirement
May 29, 2009

---

Patchy pensions leave too many exposed
May 27, 2009
By Carol Goar
(...) Today, Canada has a half-built pension system. It serves a fortunate minority relatively well, but leaves many workers facing a bleak retirement. No one is utterly destitute. All seniors are entitled to a monthly old age security payment. And those who belonged to the workforce receive a Canada Pension Plan. But these public programs are designed to provide a modest base on which to build a private retirement income. And millions of workers simply can't. The lucky ones – 38.5 per cent of working Canadians – have a company pension. But their luck is running out...

[ more columns by Carol Goar ]
Source:
Toronto Star

---

From Finance Canada:

Finance Ministers Indicate Canada Pension Plan is Financially Sound
May 25, 2009
Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Finance, as joint stewards of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), today announced the results of the program's triennial review at the close of their annual spring meetings at Meech Lake. The review confirms that the CPP, a key pillar of Canada's retirement income system, remains on a sound financial footing. "The CPP is well positioned to weather the current market turbulence," said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. "Canadians can count on an affordable CPP today and for the future." The CPP provides over 3.6 million retired Canadians with benefits of up to $909 per month.

Related document:

Information Paper: Proposed Changes
to the Canada Pension Plan
Proposed by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Finance
Ottawa, May 25, 2009
(...) The proposed changes will provide greater flexibility for older workers to combine pension and work income if they so wish; modestly expand pension coverage; and improve fairness in the Plan’s flexible retirement provisions.
(...) The proposed changes will begin to come into force in 2011 following approval by the Parliament of Canada and provincial governments.

< COMMENT:
I think it's wonderful that one of the proposed changes to CPP will allow people to continue working while receiving their CPP benefits. But the economic downturn is happening NOW, not in 2011, when the CPP changes will "begin" to come into force. Any change to the CPP requires the support of two-thirds of the provinces and territories, so if all Canadian ministers of Finance support the changes, they can fast-track the process of changing the CPP much more expeditiously.
... and I don't think that most of them *wish* to keep combining pension and work income, by the way --- they have to.>

Related links:

Consultation on pensions in Canada
"Strengthening the Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Private Pension Plans
Subject to the Pension Benefit Standards Act, 1985
"
- launched January 2009
- closing date for input: May 31, 2009
- incl. links to two consultation documents from the Department of Finance

Responses/Submissions from the public
- links to dozens of responses (to the consultations documents) submitted to the consultation
by union representatives, pension plan representatives and employer pension representatives.

---

A real world solution for public pensions
By Mark Sutcliffe
March 7, 2009
"(...) What's good for the PS is good for Ottawa. But it's fair to ask whether a cherished benefit awarded to members of the public service should last forever. While the federal government begins looking at how to clean up the mess that has become of many private-sector pension funds, legislators at all levels may want to also consider this difficult question: Should we consider phasing out the defined-benefit, fully indexed pensions that are standard for government employees? (...) There's not much that can or should be done about existing public employees, who are contractually guaranteed their benefits. But could governments move toward establishing a defined-contribution plan, like those at most private-sector employers, for new public servants? Someday, should government workers carry as much of the burden for saving for their own retirement as everyone else? Thanks to union agreements, it won't be an easy process. But it's worth considering. Some may tremble at any element of uncertainty being introduced into public-sector pensions. Others would respond, welcome to the real world.
Source:
The Ottawa Citizen

---

Department of Finance Releases Schedule for Pension Consultations
News Release
March 4 2009
The Department of Finance announced further details on the public consultations across Canada on the legislative and regulatory framework for federally regulated private pension plans, which are scheduled to begin March 13. The Government released a discussion paper seeking views from Canadians on this issue on January 9. It followed up by announcing in Budget 2009: Canada's Economic Action Plan that the national consultations will be chaired by Ted Menzies, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.
- click the news release link above to access the scheduled dates and locations for the consultations.
- consultations will be held in :
Ottawa (March 13) - Halifax (March 17) - Montréal (March 18) - Toronto (March 20) - Vancouver (April 14) - Whitehorse (April 15) - Edmonton (April 16) - Winnipeg (April 17)

The federal government regulates private pension plans that are subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985. These plans cover areas of employment under federal jurisdiction, including banking, telecommunications and interprovincial transportation. These plans currently represent 7 per cent of all private pension plans in Canada, accounting for approximately 12 per cent of pension assets. Canadians who wish to attend these consultations or send submissions on the discussion paper are invited to submit an e-mail to this address: pensions@fin.gc.ca

---

Minister of Finance Launches National Consultations on Private Pensions
February 23, 2009
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced the Government will begin scheduled public consultations across Canada on the legislative and regulatory framework for federally regulated private pension plans. (...) The Government released a discussion paper seeking views from Canadians on this issue on January 9. It followed up by announcing in Budget 2009: Canada’s Economic Action Plan that the national consultations will be chaired by Ted Menzies, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

The public consultations will run from March 13 to April 17; click the link above for the schedule of sessions in eight cities across Canada. Canadians who wish to attend these consultations or send submissions on the discussion paper are invited to submit an e-mail to this address: pensions@fin.gc.ca

Related links:

Minister of Finance Releases Discussion Paper on Private Pensions
News Release
January 9, 2009
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released a discussion paper on improving the framework for federally regulated private pension plans. “The Government acted in the Economic and Fiscal Statement to provide temporary solvency relief to federally regulated pension plans that have been affected by the substantial declines in equity markets,” said Minister Flaherty. “The purpose of this paper is to get the views of Canadians on issues related to the legislative framework for federally regulated defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans with the objective of making permanent changes in 2009.”

The federal Government regulates private pension plans that are subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985. These plans cover areas of employment under federal jurisdiction, including banking, telecommunications and inter-provincial transportation.

Complete discussion paper:

Strengthening the Legislative and Regulatory Framework
for Private Pension Plans Subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985

[ PDF version - 107K, 23 pages ]
January 2009
These consultations are open to anybody interested in participating.
- incl. contact information for anyone wishing to submit any comments on the discussion paper

The closing date for these consultations was April 17, 2009.009)

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

Improvements to Life Income Funds Give Canadians More Financial Flexibility
News Release
May 8, 2008
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced regulatory changes are now in effect allowing Canadians to take advantage of Budget 2008 improvements to the administration of Life Income Funds (LIFs).

- includes links to the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, Regulatory Changes Related to Federally Regulated Life Income Funds and Locked-in Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Effective May 8,2008, Questions and Answers and Regulations Amending the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985.

October 4, 2006
More Flexibility to Seniors in the Management of Their Life Income Funds
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that the regulations to immediately remove the requirement to convert federally regulated life income funds (LIFs) to life annuities at age 80 have now come into force. The regulations were published in the Canada Gazette. Seniors have asked for a greater degree of control over their retirement savings and this initiative will help give it to them," stated Minister Flaherty. A LIF is a special registered retirement income fund into which funds from pension plans or other locked-in retirement funds can be transferred.


Statistics Canada

What's New from The Daily - Statistics Canada :

[Selected content concerning seniors]

Pathways into the GIS
August 2009
* Highlights
* Full article: PDF
(212K, 10 pages)
The article Pathways into the GIS examines the strong correlation of Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) receipt with people's income levels at younger ages, particularly one's 40s. Negative labour market and health occurrences, having a low income and the receipt of social assistance benefits increased the probability of GIS receipt, while having an employer pension plan or a registered retirement savings plan decreased it.

Related link:
Income Security and Stability
During Retirement in Canada
(PDF - 486K, 59 pages)
March 2008

March 12, 2009
Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds), Third quarter 2008
The market value of assets held in employer-sponsored pension funds fell by 8.7% during the third quarter to $869.0 billion, the largest quarterly decline in a decade.The decline, equivalent to $82.7 billion, was the result of a significant drop in stock prices and foreign investments. The third-quarter level was well below the peak of $954.6 billion reached at the end of 2007.
- includes two tables :
* Trusteed pension funds, market value of assets by type
* Trusteed pension funds: Revenue and expenditures



GIS Undersubscription:

The Guaranteed Income Supplement Saga

During the summer of 2001, Richard Shillington and the Toronto Star stirred up a hornet's nest when they criticized the federal government for not trying to reach several hundred thousand seniors who were eligible for, but had not applied for, the income-tested Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) under the Old Age Security program. Here's an update on that situation.

THE GOOD NEWS:
In 2001, the number of Canadians over 65 who were eligible for GIS but never applied for it was over 380,000. In 2006, that number was just over 200,000. That's a drop of almost 50% in five years.

THE BAD NEWS:
In 2006, the number of Canadians over 65 who were eligible for GIS but never applied for it was just over 200,000.
That's 200,000 Canadian seniors too many.
Moreover, the data is four years old, so it doesn't take into account the effect of the 2008-2009 recession on GIS take-up. The recession may in fact have increased the GIS take-up rate, if low-income seniors were motivated/driven by their difficult circumstances to avail themselves of all sources of support.

---

From Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC)
Federal department responsible for Old Age Security and
the Guaranteed Income Supplement (among other mandates):

Evaluation of the Guaranteed Income Supplement
Take-up Measures and Outreach

Final report
(1MB, 76 pages)
http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2010/rhdcc-hrsdc/HS28-174-2010-eng.pdf
February 2010
Table of contents:
* Title Page
* List of abbreviations
* Executive Summary
* Management Response:
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Evaluation Methodology
- 3. Evaluation Findings
- 4. Overall Conclusions

This report presents the findings of the evaluation of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) Take-up Measures and Outreach, which assesses the measures undertaken by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Service Canada (SC) since 2002 to increase take-up of the GIS. The objective of the study* is to examine the profile of eligible non-recipients, the barriers to GIS take-up, the appropriateness of the design of HRSDC/SC activities, given these barriers, and the results of activities to increase GIS take-up.
Source:
Excerpt from the
Executive Summary

*The evaluation team collected and reviewed information mainly
from January to August 2008 but data examined concerns the years 2001 to 2006.

-------------------------------

How it all came about...

The Guaranteed Income Supplement Saga
How 300,000 lost out on GIS and then some/most got their benefits

By Richard Shillington
June 2002
Source:
Tristat Resources - Richard Shillington's website
Detailed account with over a dozen links to related information.

---

From Statistics Canada:

Study: Guaranteed Income Supplement update, 2006
July 2009
More seniors who are eligible for Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits are actually receiving them, as both take-up rates and application rates have improved. The GIS was established in 1967 as an additional benefit for low-income seniors receiving the Old Age Security pension. (...) Increases in both the GIS take-up rate and application rate between 2000 and 2006 coincided with a number of reforms by the federal government to simplify the application process. Since 2007, seniors have needed to apply only once to receive GIS payments for all years of eligibility, provided they file tax returns. This marks a significant change from the study period, when eligible seniors were required to re-apply if they lost eligibility during one or more years because of an increase in income. [ More... ]

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) update
July 2009
By May Juong
* Highlights
* Full article:
--- HTML version
--- PDF version
(141K, 9 pages)

Related StatCan subjects:
o Income, pensions, spending and wealth
o Household, family and personal income
o Low income and inequality
o Seniors
o Income, pensions and wealth

Source:
Statistics Canada

New Poverty Traps: Means-Testing and Modest-Income Seniors (PDF file - 148K, 13 pages)
April 2003
Richard Shillington
C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder
"Millions of Canadians accept the homogenous advice of governments and the financial community and put billions into RRSPs. However, for many lower-income Canadians RRSPs are a terrible investment. They are victims of a fraud, however unintentional. Only when more Canadians are aware of the perverse treatment of lower-income citizens’ savings will Ottawa be forced to develop measures that reward, rather than punish, their savings efforts."
Source:
Tristat Resources

(Richard Shillington's website)

Retirement Planning for the "Rest of Us"
Introduction
"This web-site is designed to give Retirement Planning advice for those Canadians, half the population, who do not have an employer pension plan and will not save hundreds of thousands of dollars in their RRSP. Only about 40% of the labour force have an employer pension plan. Jobs with pension plan coverage usually come with benefits like health benefits, maternity benefits etc. By retirement about half of families have no employer pension plan to speak of and must rely on public plans (OAS, GIS & CPP) and a modest retirement savings, mostly RRSP (on average about $40,000). This web-site is designed for those without an employer pension plan or large RRSP. This web-site is about retirement planning for the "Rest of Us."

Retirement Planning Resources
for the "Rest of Us"
- includes links to the following useful resources:
* Why listen to me? * What is wrong with most Financial Advice * Recommended Reading for the "Rest of Us" * Are you GIS Destined? * What you need to know about GIS and Spouses and Widows Allowance * RRSPs don't work well for you * Why you should probably take early CPP * Early CPP: Individual Calculator * Credit Cards * Home Ownership * Your income at retirement

NOTE: Richard is the person who helped the federal government to find a few hundred thousand seniors who were entitled to, but not receiving, the Guaranteed Income Supplement under the Old Age Security Program.

Source:
Tristat Resources
Richard Shillington


CARP* calls on government to honour Canada’s
pension promise and releases Universal Pension Plan
October 21, 2009
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia: Canada is not honouring its promise to keep Canadians out of poverty in retirement says CARP which calls for immediate pension reform to help Canadians now at risk as well as to prevent such insecurity for future generations. At a public meeting organized by CARP’s Halifax Chapter on retirement security, CARP released its position papers calling for comprehensive pension reform
[* CARP was formerly known as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons.]

Time for a Universal Pension Plan (PDF - 111K, 11 pages)
September 2009
- CARP Position Paper on its proposal for a Universal Pension Plan

Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance
Pre-budget consultations
(PDF - 43K, 5 pages)
August 14, 2009
CARP’s pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

Source:
CARP
A New Vision of Aging for Canada: A society in which
everyone can live active, independent, purposeful lives as they age.

Related links:

CARP (Canada)
CARP (originally the Canadian Association of Retired Persons,
now billed as Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus) is a Canadian
organization advocating for the rights of those fifty years of age or older.
Source:
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

---

An earlier kick at the can:

CARP poll find members overwhelmingly support a new Universal Pension Plan
April 21, 2009
By Jonathan_Chevreau
The over-50 lobby group known as CARP today told the government it should consider establishing a Universal Pension Plan modelled on the CPP, with mandatory enrolment, a payroll deduction mechanism and a performance-oriented mandate that is independent from government or any single employer.
Source:
The National Post

Division of Aging and Seniors (Public Health Agency of Canada)
The Division of Aging and Seniors, Public Health Agency of Canada, provides federal leadership on health issues related to aging and seniors. The Division serves as a focal point for information and centre of expertise in this area.

Web Links - a large list of links to sites of interest for seniors or seniors' groups

Provincial government links - links to home pages of governments and special groups representing the interests of seniors

Publications
- large collection of links organized under the following categories:
Age Related/Chronic Diseases - Archives - Caring for Seniors - The Canadian Health Care System - General - Healthy Aging - Injury Prevention - Life Events - Living Environments - Medication Use - Mental Health - Seniors Protection - Statistics - Technology

--------------------------------------------------------------

National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA)*
The National Advisory Council on Aging was created on May 1, 1980, to assist and advise the Minister of Health on all matters related to the aging of the Canadian population and the quality of life of seniors.

* NOTE: (April 12, 2007)
It's gone.
As of March 5, 2007, when Canada's New Government announced the creation of a new
National Seniors Council. affiliated with the New Horizons for Seniors Program, the NACA was quietly subsumed by the new Council.

Canadian Senior Years
Canadian Senior Years is designed for all Canadian seniors over 50 with a special focus on the Grey Bruce area of Ontario. The site features up-to-date news feeds on subjects of interest to Canadian seniors, hundreds of mostly Canadian site links, games, discussion boards, email pals section, a memorial listing, articles and much more.

Improving Seniors Quality of Life
Centre for Health Promotion
University of Toronto
In April, 1999, the Seniors Quality of Life Project began its two year program of research into the quality of life of seniors in 8 cities across Canada. Seniors groups in Halifax, Québec City, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Regina, Whitehorse and Vancouver are organizing and carrying out a series of public consultations on issues and factors affecting the quality of life and well-being of seniors.
On the main page, you'll find links to the report from Toronto (see below)  - Toronto discussions - Survey results - Vancouver discussions and as well as information about the Quality of Life Project.
A City for All Ages: fact or fiction?
Effects of Government Policy Decisions on the Quality of Life of Toronto Seniors
The Toronto Project
September 2000 Report
Don't miss the excellent Links to Seniors' Resources

Prince Edward Island Seniors' Guide (PDF - 9.6MB, 99 pages)
Published August 3, 2009
The Prince Edward Island Seniors’ Guide includes information about programs and services provided to seniors by the federal and provincial governments, community organizations and service providers

Supports for Seniors
Several departments of the Government of Prince Edward Island provide programs and services that are designed to assist seniors.
This page provides links to supports organized under the following headings:
* Health and Wellness * Home Care and Support * Housing Assistance * Financial and Legal Assistance

Source:
Seniors' Secretariat

See also:

InfoPEI - Seniors
- incl. links to info about:
* Active Living * Caregivers' Information * Congratulatory Messages for Seniors * Emergency Assistance * Finances * Health Services * Housing * Life Long Learning Opportunities * Personal Security/Legal * Research * Senior Centres/Clubs and Organizations * Seniors Emergency Home Repair Program * Seniors Guide * Seniors and Medication * Seniors' News * Seniors' Secretariat * Services for Seniors * Transportation/Travel * Veterans' Programs * World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

International Seniors' Websites
(Links are added below in reverse chronological order)

From
The White House:

State of the Union (SOTU) Address
January 28, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sotu
Watch the complete 2014 State of the Union Address online (just over an hour in duration).

Obama's 2014 State of the Union address: Full text (transcript)
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obamas-2014-state-of-the-union-address-full-text/
(NOTE : This is from the CBS News website --- I can't seem to find the actual transcript of the Address on the White House website...)

Seniors and Social Security
http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/seniors-and-social-security
To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market." (Excerpt from the 2014 SOTU Adress)

Source:
SOTU Issues
http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues

NOTE : For more detailed online resources on SOTU and seniors, go to:
http://canadiansocialresearch.net/us.htm#sotu

From
The White House:

Remarks by the President on Retirement
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/29/remarks-president-retirement
January 29, 2014
Excerpt:
So this is the opportunity agenda that's going to help restore some sense of economic security in this 21st century economy. We want jobs that are more plentiful. We want skills that keep you employable. We want savings that are portable. We want health care that’s yours and that's not going to be canceled when you really need it. We want every American who works hard and takes responsibility to retire with dignity after decades of honest work. These are real, practical, achievable solutions to help shift the odds back a little bit in favor of more working and middle-class Americans, so that if they work hard, they can get ahead and they can leave something for the next generation.

Source:
The White House
http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Active Ageing Index 2012
for 27 EU Member States
(PDF - 732K, 11 pages)
http://www.euro.centre.org/data/1356002554_9393.pdf
Developed by Asghr Zaidi et al.
Vienna, 2012
December Policy Brief
The 2012 Active Ageing Index (AAI) is a newly developed tool that offers national and European policy-makers a way to measure and promote the untapped potential of the older population. In its design, the index follows the conceptual framework of the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (EY2012). It makes use of a dashboard of diverse indicators, organised under four distinct domains:
(1) Employment of older workers;
(2) Social activity and participation of older people;
(3) Independent and autonomous living of older persons; and
(4) Capacity and enabling environment for active ageing.

The year 2012 has marked the 10th anniversary of the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing and also the 2nd cycle of review and appraisal of the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. It is also the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. To mark these major occasions, the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the European Commission’s Directorate General on Employment, Social Protection and Inclusion and the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research have undertaken a research and policy advice project, called: the ‘Active Ageing Index’ project, constructing the Active Ageing Index (AAI), which was launched during the Closing Conference of the EY2012, 10th December 2012, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Related links:

Second World Assembly on Ageing
http://www.globalaging.org/waa2/index.htm

Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing
http://goo.gl/YVTfH

European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations
http://europa.eu/ey2012/

UN Economic Commission for Europe
http://www.unece.org/

European Commission Directorate General
on Employment, Social Protection and Inclusion
http://ec.europa.eu/social/home.jsp?langId=en

European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research
http://www.euro.centre.org/

Active Ageing Index
http://www.euro.centre.org/detail.php?xml_id=2004

Exclusion from Material Resources among Older People
in EU Countries: New Evidence on Poverty and Capability Deprivation
(PDF - 1.5MB, 18 pages)
By Asghar Zaidi
July 2011 Policy Brief
The salient features of the current European economic climate are not easy to view with optimism: an uncertain recovery from recession, uncomfortably high levels of unemployment, Eurozone debt crises and the longer-term challenges of population ageing and sustainability of social welfare systems - all make for hard reading. (...) This Policy Brief examines the picture for the current generation of older people, with particular reference to their exclusion from material resources, an absence which triggers and identifies other forms of exclusions for older people. Income is used as a primary measure of exclusion (following Atkinson), but Sen's ideas, emphasising agency freedom and capability aspects of welfare, are also adopted.
Source:
European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research

United Kingdom

Home care in London (PDF - 868K, 42 pages)
By Laura bradley
July 1, 2011
Over the next two decades, the number of people aged over 80 is set to double in Britain. Public services must adapt to the challenge that this poses, central to which is the need to deliver social care to older people. Home-based care has the potential to reduce the pressure on more costly public services such as hospital beds and care-home places. (...) This paper explores the issue of home-based social care in London. It provides policymakers and commissioners with a clearer idea of what makes for good quality home-based care, the challenges that exist for delivering it, and how the increasing demand can be met.
Source:
Institute for Public Policy Research
IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy Research, is the UK’s leading progressive thinktank. We produce rigorous research and innovative policy ideas for a fair, democratic and sustainable world.

AARP (formerly called the American Association of Retired Persons)
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people age 50 and over have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole, ways that help people 50 and over improve their lives. Since 1958, AARP has been leading a revolution in the way people view and live life. Our work reaches deep into members' communities through support from staffed offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Internet Resources on Aging
Browse AARP's database on Internet resources, and link to more than 1,200 of the best sites for people age 50+.
This resource was last updated November 2010.
Topics and Subtopics:
* Aging of Special Populations
* Aging Organizations and General Interest
* Caregiving, Supportive Services, and Assistive Devices
* Death and Dying
* Employment, Finances, and Retirement
* Family, Personal Relationships, and Online Community
* Government, Legislation, and Public Policy
* Health and Well-Being
* Housing and Long Term Care
* Law and Legal Issues
* Leisure, Learning, and Personal Growth
* Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security
* Older Drivers and Transportation
* Research and Reference
* State and Local Resources


Site review
by The Scout Report:
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) covers aging and aging-related topics quite well, and this website is one of their many compelling initiatives. The databases, AgeSource and AgeStats, on AARP's international website are designed to "facilitate the international exchange of policy and program-relevant information in aging." Under the "Aging Everywhere" tab is an interactive map that allows the visitor to read "Country Profiles" as well as read articles about a region selected from the map. A "Comparative Data Search" can also be done by clicking on the link above the map. There are multiple ways to search the information in the databases. On the left hand menu visitors can explore by topic or by region. Some of the topics include "Aging & Society", "Economic Retirement & Security", "Livable Communities" and "Long-Term Care". Searching for a particular topic can be accomplished by using the keyword search box in the middle of the page. The search can be further limited by deciding which databases to search, and by information type, geographic coverage, and language.
Reviewed by:
The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2009.
http://scout.wisc.edu/

[U.S.] Alliance for Aging Research
http://www.agingresearch.org/

Founded in 1986, to "promote medical and behavioral research into the aging process", the Washington D.C.-based Alliance for Aging Research has a website that covers many different "Topics". Visitors can explore general topics, such as "Caregiving", "Longevity", "Medical Innovation", and "Policy", as well as "Focus Areas". The focus areas include "Access to Breakthroughs", "Drug Development", "Persistent Pain" and "Vision Loss". On the homepage visitors can take "Surveys & Quizzes", like "Understanding Persistent Pain" and "Valve Disease Quiz - How Much Do You Know?" Related to the valve disease quiz is the recent podcast of a valve surgery patient, who discusses the symptoms she felt that resulted in her recent visit to the doctor, how she was diagnosed, her growing knowledge of the surgical procedure, and how she felt after surgery. Visitors can find that podcast and others, at the "Media" link near the bottom of the homepage. Also in the "Media" link, visitors can find videos, such as "Will Science Cure Aging?", and a rich archive of videos and podcasts

Source:
The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010

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AgeSource/AgeStats Worldwide
http://www.aarpinternational.org/database/
AgeSource Worldwide identifies several hundred information resources in some 25 countries which are significant either in size or in their unique coverage of particular aging-related issues. The resources include, among others, clearinghouses, libraries, databases, training materials, major reports, and Web metasites.
AgeStats Worldwide
provides access to statistical data that compare the situation of older adults across countries or regions around a variety of issues, such as demography, pensions, health and long-term care. The most recent data and projections as far ahead as 2050 are provided where available. You may search either or both databases at one time. Access is free-of-charge. AgeSource and AgeStats Worldwide have been created by AARP to facilitate the international exchange of policy and program-relevant information in aging.

Internet Resources Related to Aging (U.S.)
List of Contents - like a site map, incl. links to sites organized under the following headings : General Interest - Government - Health - Housing - Income - Law - Leisure - Libraries, Clearinghouses and Databases - Social Services - States and Communities - Statistics and Research - Listservs - Newsgroups - Electronic Magazines - Search Tools - Alphabetical Index
Other Internet Directories Related to Aging - links to 9 directories, most from the U.S. Administration on Aging, including state and even local links to resources for seniors
Source :

Links to AARP sites in all states

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The Social Security Debate in the U.S. - from Wikipedia
- incl. criticism of Social Security as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme...

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Nearly 1 in 5 older Americans believed
to be in poverty --- almost double the official rate

September 4, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The poverty rate among older Americans could be nearly twice as high as the traditional 10 percent level, according to a revision of a half-century-old formula for calculating medical costs and geographic variations in the cost of living. The National Academy of Science's formula, which is gaining credibility with public officials including some in the Obama administration, would put the poverty rate for Americans 65 and over at 18.6 percent, or 6.8 million people, compared with 9.7 percent, or 3.6 million people, under the existing measure. The original government formula, created in 1955, doesn't take account of rising costs of medical care and other factors.
Source:
Associated Press

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/poverty2.htm

---

Pensions at a glance 2007
OECD
People in OECD countries will have to save more for their retirement as a result of the major pensions reforms carried out in recent years, according to this report. The average pension promise in 16 OECD countries studied was cut by 22 per cent. For women, the reduction was 25 per cent.
Posted June 8, 2007
Source:
Australian Policy Online

Confusions about Social Security (PDF file - 195K, 11 pages)
Paul Krugman (Princeton University)
January 2005
"There is a lot of confusion in the debate over Social Security privatization, much of it deliberate. This essay discusses the meaning of the trust fund, which privatizers declare either real or fictional at their convenience; the likely rate of return on private accounts, which has been greatly overstated; and the (ir)relevance of putative reductions in far future liabilities."
Source:
The Economists' Voice - U.S.
(Editor: Joseph E. Stiglitz)

Related Links:

Social Security Administration (U.S. Government)
"Visit the Social Security Administration Web site for publications and online resources to help you understand your Social Security benefits, how to apply for benefits, and the history of the Social Security program. You can also apply for benefits online."

AARP Social Security Center
[AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people over 50.]
"AARP maintains a special Social Security Center on its Web site. Visit the center to test your knowledge and find answers to some commonly asked questions about Social Security. You can also learn about issues and challenges facing Social Security, and you can tell your elected officials what you think about Social Security."

For links to more info about the Bush administration's push to privatize Social Security in the U.S. in 2005 and about the Chilean pension model, go to the Pension Reforms Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm

FirstGov for Seniors (U.S.)
- incl. links to : Consumer Protection - Education & Training - Health - Legislation - Letters to the Editor - Other Links - Retirement Planner - Seniors & Computers - Services - Strategic Plan - Tax Assistance - Travel & Leisure- Work & Volunteer - State Websites for Seniors
Site Map

National Council on the Aging (U.S.)
"Organizations and professionals promoting the dignity, self-determination and well-being of older persons"

BenefitsCheckUp
"NCOA's latest innovation, BenefitsCheckUp, is a simple and confidential online service made for seniors and caregivers. The program searches more than 1,000 federal and state programs and finds those for which the senior may be eligible."

National Institute on Aging (NIA) - U.S.
The National Institute on Aging is a component of the National Institutes of Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) that is devoted to improving the health of older people.


From the U.N.:

International Day of Older Persons
The General Assembly designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons by resolution 45/106 of 14 December 1990, following up on initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the General Assembly.

The theme of the International Day for 2006 is
"Improving the Quality of Life for Older Persons: Advancing UN Global Strategies." (PDF file - 9K, 1 page)

Source:
U.N. Conferences and Events
[ United Nations ]


SeniorSite (U.S. site, worth a visit to see hundreds of links to valuable information)


US Administration on Aging
In order to serve a growing senior population, AoA envisions ensuring the continuation of a vibrant aging services network at State, Territory, local and Tribal levels through funding of lower-cost, non-medical services and supports that provide the means by which many more seniors can maintain their independence. The mission of AoA is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of home and community-based services that helps elderly individuals maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities.

Aging Statistics
From the Administration on Aging

Social Security Administration Home Page - "The Official Web Site of the Social Security Administration"


ElderWeb (U.S., with international links - incl. Canada)
- includes over 6,000 reviewed links to long term care information, as well as an expanding library of articles and reports, news, and events. This award-winning site is designed to be a research site for both professionals and family members looking for information on eldercare and long term care, and includes links to information on legal, financial, medical, and housing issues, as well as policy, research, and statistics.



Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies
(CeRP)
CeRP Working Papers
- links to ~30 papers in English from September 2000 to July 2003
Recent CeRP website content:
'Is Mandatory Retirement an Outdated Feature of Pension Systems?'
Fourth Annual Conference
September 16, 2003
Turin, Italy
- incl. links to 7 papers and presentations, including : Social Security Rules that Vary with Age - Public Pension programmes, Retirement Incentives and Employment in Europe - Retirement Choices of the Elderly in Italy - Patterns of Retirement in Germany and How to Change them - more...



United Kingdom:

Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods:
A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society

25 February 2008
The ageing of the population will be one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century for housing. This strategy sets out our response to this challenge, our plan to create Lifetime Homes in Lifetime Neighbourhoods. It outlines our plans for making sure that there is enough appropriate housing available in future to relieve the forecasted unsustainable pressures on homes, health and social care services.

Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods
A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society
(PDF file - 5.7MB, 176 pages)
February 2008
Source:
Housing and Older People - includes links to several related documents
[ Communities and Local Government ]
Communities and Local Government is the government department that sets UK policy on local government, housing, urban regeneration, planning and fire and rescue

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Features and Challenges of Population Ageing:
The European Perspective
- PDF file - 199K, 16 pages)
Author: Asghar Zaidi
Policy Brief
March 6, 2008
In this Policy Brief the issue of population ageing and its possible implications are sketched out.
It also discusses what public policy responses are required to deal with the challenges posed.
Source:
European Centre for Welfare Policy and Research

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Does informal care from children to their elderly parents substitute for formal care in Europe? (PDF file - 122K, 40 pages)
January 2008
Source:
Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics, Liège
Summary : This paper analyzes the impact of informal care by adult children on the use of long-term care among the elderly in Europe and the effect of the level of the parent’s disability on this relationship. We focus on two types of formal home care that are the most likely to interact with informal care: paid domestic help and nursing care.

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The Bertelsmann Foundation (Europe)
"Following in the footsteps of its founder, Reinhard Mohn, the Bertelsmann Foundation is committed to the common good. Its charitable activities, transparently administered, are based on the conviction that competition is indispensable to social progress. The Bertelsmann Foundation considers itself an agent of social change for a sustainable society; its goal as an operating foundation is to develop, organize and implement exemplary solutions to societal problems."
- See the Bertelsmann Foundation sitemap for an overview of what you'll find on this large site.

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