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Economic Security in an Aging Canadian Population


  • Robert L. Brown


This paper has been written to bring up to date materials in a monograph that was a part of the Butterworths series of monographs in social gerontology, in particular, the 1991 monograph entitled: Economic Security in an Aging Population (Brown, 1991). The paper reports on research that indicates that today’s retirees are doing very well in terms of their replacement ratios and that Canadian poverty rates among the elderly are low relative to OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Government-sponsored plans have been strengthened either through explicit expansion (e.g., the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)) or through the reform of the Canada/Quebec Pension Plans (C/QPP). Also important is the maturation of Employer-sponsored pension plans. However, for the latter, coverage rates are down. This has created concern that future generations of Canadian retirees may not be able to experience the standard of living that is the reality for today’s elderly. The paper concludes that the aging of the population is not the cause of the increased cost of health care and social security today. Even by 2031, when the entire baby boom will be aged 65+, the impact of population aging on costs will be manageable. The paper also discusses the affordability of these systems if the normal age at retirement were to rise.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert L. Brown, 2011. "Economic Security in an Aging Canadian Population," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 285, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:285

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2011. "Age of Pension Eligibility, Gains in Life Expectancy, and Social Policy," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 37(2), pages 183-199, June.
    2. Ostrovsky, Yuri & Schellenberg, Grant, 2009. "Pension Coverage, Retirement Status, and Earnings Replacement Rates Among a Cohort of Canadian Seniors," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2009321e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. M. S. Marzouk, 1991. "Aging, Age-Specific Health Care Costs and the Future Health Care Burden in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 17(4), pages 490-506, December.
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    More about this item


    Baby boom; old age security; Canada/Quebec pension plans; registered pension plans; registered retirement savings plans; health care cost;

    JEL classification:

    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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