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Poverty insurance

A report from the CD Howe Institute supports the creation of a pooled risk savings program to protect seniors who run out of money in their old age.

The report, authored by Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, recommends a broad government-led initiative to ensure seniors have adequate income. With many seniors living beyond the age of 85, MacDonald supports a national and voluntary program that would give retiring Canadians the option to buy into a pooled fund that provides a stable income stream starting at age 85. Seniors would start paying into the insurance scheme, called Living Income for the Elderly (LIFE), at age 65.

Statistics Canada reported last year that, in 2016, more than 770,000 people aged 85 and older lived in
Canada. That number grew by nearly 20 percent from 2011 to 2016, nearly four times the rate for the overall Canadian population. The centenarian population, or those aged 100 and up, grew by more than 40 percent from 2011-2016, reaching 8,230 individuals. ◊