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Poverty Among Seniors Concerning

“Poverty among seniors is concerning,” says Jack Mintz, director and Palmer chair in public policy at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. Addressing the session ‘Are Sustainability and Security Achievable? Yes, But at What Cost, and at Whose Risk’ at the Conference Board of Canada’s ‘Pension Summit 2014: Time for Action,’ Mintz outlined the dire situation many seniors will find themselves in. Although the poverty rate among senior couples is small, the poverty rate among single seniors is quite high at 20% (two times the general poverty rate). Often there is a significant drop in income when one spouse passes away. “This is a key issue for [pension plan] policy reforms,” he said. Increasing the guaranteed income supplement for single seniors would cut the poverty rate by half. He also suggests improving survivor benefits under CPP from 60% to 100%.

Courtesy of Benefits and Pensions Monitor website News Alerts 

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