What if the national pension can pay enough for a living with dignity?
Is this a pipe dream? It is too much responsibility that many governments are willing to take on. So many can’t even meet the current obligations or promises due to aging population. However, perhaps that is the exact reason why drastic change is needed.
We are facing a growing senior poverty crisis. The employer sponsored defined benefits pension is declining. Many simply don’t have enough to save for emergency fund let alone retirement. Many people are not good at investing if they have money to save. The financial market is treacherous. It does require knowledge, experience, and certain temperament to invest wisely. Many people simply do not have that.
If health care is a human right, should food and shelter be human rights too especially for the most vulnerable such as seniors and children?
The only way to do it is to increase tax progressively and enhance the public pension system. If the pension, health care, and education are run efficiently, people are willing to pay tax for them. People have to pay for it one way or another. The key question is whether the government is competent and transparent.
Our current system is too complicated. Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). If someone reaches certain income, there will be claw back. So complicated. It would be easier just to give a minimum amount to every senior regardless income to ensure that they have a living with dignity. No need to use food bank. With simplification, there will be efficiency and savings. Better customer experience.
I heard a story. A lady was devastated when she found out that some of her OAS payment will be claw back because her retirement income was too high. She doesn’t feel it is fair. I can understand. Just give universal benefit. Then, the government also has better buy in from the public to tax more.