I was thinking of my grandfather on March 29 when the Conservative government announced in the budget that it will raise the Old Age Security (OAS) benefits from age 65 to 67. We do have a looming pension crisis in Canada, not because people are retiring too early, but because their combined pension and investment income will still see them retiring into poverty.
An important long run element in today's budget is the change in "retirement age" -- actually a change in the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS). Nowadays, age 65 is more like late middle age than old age and people who reach that age can look forward, on average, to a couple of decades of an enjoyable life.
First, the Harper government lied. Before we get to the actual economics, there is a fundamental issue of integrity and keeping promises. Harper, once again, has failed on this score. Harper promised that he wouldn't touch pensions or the OAS, but he did.
Budget news came down the Parliamentary stairway with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper sharing in a laugh while reporters furiously thumbed their blackberries, shoved mics in politcians' faces, or yelled, "Tweet that!" in newsrooms (as we did at HuffPostCanada). Feeling a little bombarded with info? We thought you might be.