Seniors poverty in Canada on the rise says OECD

Seniors poverty in Canada on the rise says OECD

An international think-tank warns that poverty among Canadian seniors is on the rise and that current pension safety nets may be inadequate to address the problem.

The comprehensive study on global pensions by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development showed that Canadians over 65 years of age are relatively well off when compared with most others in the 34-country group of advanced economies.

For example, the average poverty rate for people over age 65 in Canada was 7.2 per cent during the study period,  better than the 12.8 per cent average in the 24-nation OECD.

But the report also points to gaps in the Canadian situation.

For instance, as poverty rates were falling in many OECD countries between 2007 and 2010, in Canada they rose about two percentage points.

As well, the report notes that public (government) transfers to seniors in Canada account for less than 39 per cent of the gross income of Canadian seniors, compared with the OECD average of 59 per cent, meaning more Canadians depend on workplace pensions to bridge the gap.

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