Summary of the Evaluation of the Old Age Security Program: Phase 1

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The Old Age Security program is part of Canada’s retirement income system. It provided income support to about 6 million seniors in fiscal year 2015 to 2016. The program provides the basic Old Age Security pension to nearly all seniors and a supplement to low-income seniors via the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Allowances.

Key Findings:

  • The employment rate of seniors increased significantly in recent years. The literature indicates this was due to many factors, including technological advances making jobs less physically demanding and rapid growth in the service sector, making the labour market more accessible to older workers.
  • The increase in the earnings exemption to $3,500 in 2008 had a positive impact on:
    • The employment rate of recipients of the Allowances
    • The employment income of beneficiaries of the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Allowances.
  • The Guaranteed Income Supplement was increased in 2011.
    • The increase targeted the lowest income recipients.
    • This increase in the Supplement represented an average of $430 per year in 2014 and benefited 700,000 seniors.
  • Service delivery quality is monitored by the Department. However, there is an important knowledge gap regarding client satisfaction.

The evaluation recommended regular monitoring of client satisfaction.

You can read the full version of the Evaluation of the Old Age Security Program (Phase 1).

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