Paper Addresses Later Retirement of Boomers in Canada

March 27, 2012 ( - Over the coming two decades, people are likely to stay in the workforce five years longer, according to a report from the C.D. Howe Institute.

In “Later Retirement: The Win-Win Solution,” author Peter Hicks finds there will be a strong trend towards later retirement by Baby Boomers as a result of social and economic pressures, without any policy action by government to raise retirement levels. Delaying work-retirement transitions by five years would have large, positive economic and fiscal effects, the author reports, reducing pressures on growth, government finances and pension funding. Other gains in social well-being appear likely, if harder to quantify.  

A key reform will be to gradually increase the standard age of pension eligibility, says Hicks, in order to bring it more in line with increases in longevity. Hicks added that it makes no sense to continue with a standard age of 65 for public pension eligibility when the average retirement age will soon be 68. The changes can be introduced gradually, with little risk of negative side effects.   

Such reforms should involve gradually raising the age band at which one could receive a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan (C/QPP). Similar changes to the Old Age Security (OAS) would provide consistency in signals about retirement ages.   

A well-designed reform process could help re-connect pension policy with the emerging social, labor market and demographic realities that are shaping our lives and our society, he concluded.   

The full report can be purchased for $12 from