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Archived - Retirement Income Security Benefit
A number of programs and services are currently in place to ensure that the health, rehabilitation and financial needs of Canada’s Veterans are met. These benefits include targeted financial supports like the Earnings Loss Benefit, which can provide financial compensation until age 65 for the economic impact career-ending injuries can have on a Veteran’s earning capacity. However, the Government of Canada recognizes that service-related injuries and illnesses can directly impact a Veteran’s ability to save for retirement.
The proposed new Retirement Income Security Benefit would address that challenge head-on by providing financial stability to moderately to severely disabled Canadian Veterans—those who are receiving the Earnings Loss Benefit due to being totally and permanently incapacitated as a result of their service to Canada. The Retirement Income Security Benefit would take the form of a monthly income support payment beginning at age 65.
The Retirement Income Security Benefit would ensure that an eligible Veteran’s total annual income is at least 70% of what he or she received in Veterans Affairs Canada financial benefits before age 65. Monthly payments would be calculated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account how much the Veteran was receiving before age 65 and other sources of income he or she may have beyond age 65.
It is critical that Veterans have peace of mind when it comes to support for their families. That’s why this income support would also be extended to families through continued monthly payments to the Veteran’s survivor.
In keeping with our Veteran-centric approach, Veterans and survivors would not be required to apply for this benefit. Before turning 65, eligible Veterans would be proactively contacted.
As with other benefits, the Retired Income Security Benefit will require parliamentary approval. Once it receives Royal Assent, the Government of Canada will work as quickly as possible to implement this new benefit and get more money into the pockets of eligible Veterans and their families.
Example of a Veteran who could benefit from these changes
Marc, a 21-year-old private, is severely injured after just one year of service. Before releasing from the military, Marc works with a Veterans Affairs Canada case manager to assess his needs and ensure a smooth transition from military to civilian life. Among the supports in place for him are VAC financial benefits totaling approximately $62,000 annually (which is comprised of income from the Earnings Loss Benefit, Permanent Impairment Allowance and Permanent Impairment Allowance Supplement).
Under the current system, when Marc reaches the age of 65, his Earnings Loss Benefit stops, causing his annual income to fall to roughly $27,000. With the proposed Retirement Income Security Benefit, Marc would receive an increase that would lift his total annual income to 70% of what he was receiving from VAC before age 65, ensuring a better opportunity to maintain quality of life in his retirement years.
It is important to note that the financial benefits Marc receives from VAC before age 65 and the Retirement Income Security Benefit are indexed annually. This means that if Marc were injured today, the actual amount he would receive upon turning 65 in 2059 would be adjusted to reflect cost of living increases.
A continuum of care
While income after age 65 is the focus of today’s announcement, it must be viewed as part of a spectrum of services and supports available to Veterans. Benefits and services such as rehabilitation and vocational assistance, the Health Benefits Program and the Clothing Allowance, for example, are designed to help support the needs of ill and injured Veterans.
Financial supports like the Earnings Loss Benefit, which provides eligible Veterans who are unable to work as a result of their service-related injury or illness with 75% of their pre-release salary (up to age 65), are also available to help Veterans make a successful transition to civilian life.
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