*Women and Pensions*
*What do pensions in Canada look like: *
· The financial market meltdown of 2008-2009, and the economic recession that followed, exposed the weakness of our private retirement savings system.
· Private Pensions are supposed to make up a fundamental tier of our pension system, but the loss of personal investments and workplace pension plans have forced many rely on only the public pension (CPP) for retirement.
· Women make up the majority of the paid work force, yet women are disproportionately represented in the low-wage, unstable and part-time categories of employment, and are least likely to have a workplace pension plan. Disabled women may not have opportunity to work long enough to accumulate adequate public or private pension.
· Personal savings including property, stocks, tax free savings accounts and RSPs are not enough to rely on. Given women's relatively lower earnings, women find it more difficult to save money for retirement and many more just cannot afford to save.
· Today, the maximum amount a single individual can receive from OAS (Old Age Security) and GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) combined is $14,033.
This amount is below the poverty line if one were to live in a large Canadian city.
· *Fourteen per cent of senior women* live in poverty according to Statistics Canada.
· *24% of women with disabilities aged 65 and over lived in a low-income situation*, more than twice the figure for senior men with disabilities, 11% of whom had low incomes
The CPP is an earnings-related pension plan run by the federal government for all workers regardless of their employment status.
This program includes all workers and if strengthened could provide stable and secure pensions that will allow women to retire with dignity. **
Improving the public pension program is the solution. Doubling the amount paid under the CPP and increasing the GIS by 15 percent will raise all seniors out of poverty and guarantee retirement security.
Consider asking your candidate the following questions:
Q. Will your party commit to ensuring a secure retirement for Canadian workers by doubling the CPP benefit?
Q. Will your party commit to ensuring Canada's poorest seniors avoid desperate poverty by increasing the GIS by 15 percent within the first six months of being elected?