03/09/2015 11:19 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT

Disabled veterans to get new retirement support

The federal government announced Monday it is introducing new financial assistance for moderately and seriously disabled veterans who are 65 and older.

Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O'Toole said in Toronto that the new Retirement Income Security Benefit would provide a monthly support payment. Currently, disability income replacement ends at retirement at age 65. The benefit would ensure that an eligible veteran's total annual income is at least 70 per cent of what he or she got from Veteran's Affairs before reaching that age.

"The government recognized that moderate to severe service-related injuries can permanently affect the veteran's ability to work following their service and earn enough money to save for their retirement beyond their working years," O'Toole said.

The federal government estimates that by 2020, approximately 5,800 veterans and survivors would qualify for the benefit when they turn 65

O'Toole also said the benefit would continue to be paid to survivors in the event of the death of the veteran. 

Veterans ombudsman Guy Parent said the new benefit meets his recommendation that post-retirement income was one of the most urgent shortcomings in the New Veterans Charter.

The proposed benefit still requires the approval of Parliament.