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Caledon

Old Wine in New Bottles: Privatizing Old Age Pensions

Published on 10/12/1994

This paper is the first in a new series, Caledon Debates, launched by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.  John Myles, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Pepper Institute on Aging at the University of Florida as well as Policy Associate of the Caledon Institute, challenges Ken Battle’s proposals on pension reform.  In an earlier Caledon Commentary, Battle proposed the integration of Old Age Security (OAS), the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), the Spouse’s Allowance, and the age and pension income credits into a single income-tested program payable at age 60.  In Myles’ view, this integration represents a privatization of the pension system.  Myles contends that restructuring the pension system around the needs of low-income seniors would reduce the public cost of supporting Canada’s rapidly aging population and accelerate the privatization of the pension system launched by the clawback on Old Age Security.  In his rebuttal, Battle argues that a ‘super-GIS’ is not a privatization of the system but rather a means to preserve income support for low-income seniors in future, remove the insidious clawback on OAS and eliminate the discriminatory marital distinction in the Spouse’s Allowance.

ISBN – 1-895796-24-5

Summary

This paper is the first in a new series, Caledon Debates, launched by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.

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