Employees, unemployed, self-employed without a contract, students with similar problems, farmers in the impasse, artists have been separated from their audience…. there is not a week that goes by without that Ottawa is way out of his pocket a specific programme to financially support a new segment of the population affected by the crisis.
Obviously, among the least spoiled, some raise their hands : “And we ?” asked of the retirees. Justin Trudeau seems to have heard, promising this week that there would be an announcement in this regard shortly.
But how the people in retirement have they suffered financial damages at the fair ? Have they suffered the economic impact important because of the COVID-19 ? I have a doubt.
The impact on retirees
I’m not saying that this group is not affected. We talk about older people, many of them suffer, the headlines remind us each morning : they are more vulnerable to the virus, they are isolated from their family, they are many to marinate in environments that are infected and they are severely infantilized. If they deserve compensation, it is well for chaperones that are glued to the heels and for all times-called ” OUR elders “.
Financially speaking, they are not doing so badly, I think. The interest rates are maigrichons, it is true, but it is the already-seen. Some publicly traded companies to reduce their dividends, we do not deny that, but this also occurs in normal times. Equity markets have fallen (surprisingly not that much), it is visible on the statements of investments of all the world.
It has perhaps not yet seen the true shock of the stock market, but we could say the same thing without this pandemic…
Should we support the retirees every time the Stock market crashes ?
Someone who is in the disorder after seeing his assets melt down, temporarily of 30 % is expected, before calling for help, asking if his portfolio is appropriate to its situation.
Normally, a pensioner should not have the ups and downs of the Stock market in all their amplitude. In the phase of disbursement, it should hold conservative investments, fixed-income securities and shares of companies deemed to be solid, that we are in part immune to the risks.
This is for those who have investments, because many older people don’t, or very little.
For a majority of the income basis from public sources. The benefits of the Quebec pension Plan continue to be filed, as the pension of the old age Security and the guaranteed income Supplement.
For a lucky few, the vast majority of pension funds employers are in health care, and pay their beneficiaries ruby on the nail. So what is the problem ?
Financially, the disadvantages suffered by the pensioners have nothing to do with the tragedy of the contractors threatened to lose everything and of the providers of family pushed to the unemployment for reasons of public health.
What can we do for retirees ?
I’m not against the idea of improving the plight of some retirees, the most vulnerable, on the contrary, but why now, when their situation would have deserved that attention before ?
For example, Ottawa could do housework in the program of old age Security. It could ensure that all older people who qualify for the guaranteed income Supplement (GIS) receive it automatically, without having to run after it.
Among the retirees concerned in this moment, how many cling to their modest RRIF of which they held the contents, little by little, so that they should be disbursed at once to take full advantage of the GIS ? The system is so complicated that financial advisors get lost or refuse to dive into the paperwork needed to improve the financial situation of pensioners with low incomes (who often do not have the means to have the services of a counselor).
If Ottawa was serious in his willingness to help the elderly, it would simplify the system so that nobody leaves money on the table.
Yes to increased aid to seniors, the less fortunate, to support sustainable… and less opportunistic.