There are two accepted axioms in health care:
1. The older you get, the more health care you use.
2. Wealth is closely linked to health, or what policy wonks like to talk about as the “social determinants of health.”
It is therefore curious that the Federal government is stalling on reforms to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), a situation that would improve the economic outcome of seniors and presumably also have an impact on their use of the health system in retirement years.
We know that most Canadians are without supplemental private pension plans.
It is estimated that even with maximum CPP earnings at $12,500 per year, the average senior would face a shortfall of $6,200 to meet their basic needs.
This demographic bulge in baby-boom seniors would also be contributing less to the economy in the future on such limited pension income.
Therefore, it is logical to improve the Canada Pension Plan – a defined benefit pension plan – to raise the bar for most seniors so they don’t have to live out their “golden” years in poverty.