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Low Income and the Age of Eligibility for OAS

January 30, 2012

1-minute read

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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