The cost differential between three regimes of Veterans Benefits
Parliamentary Budget Officer
February 21, 2019
The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) supports Parliament by providing economic and financial analysis for the purposes of raising the quality of parliamentary debate and promoting greater budget transparency and accountability. PBO was requested to prepare a cost estimate of veteran’s benefits under the three different regimes that have existed: the Pension Act, the Veterans Wellbeing Act and Pension for Life.
Total Net Present Value of Lifetime Costs of Veterans Benefits
Pensions Act: $50 billion
Pension for Life: $32 billion
The Liberal government introduced a new program called Pension for Life. That new program has a roughly 1.5 times lower net present value of lifetime costs of veterans benefits than the one that existed under the Pension Act (1985). The way the promise was worded left many veterans thinking that the government would reinstate the lifelong pension option as it existed under the Pensions Act. The new Pension for Life program clearly isn't as generous as that older program, hence the broken status of that promise. That being said, it is worth noting the new program is slightly more generous than the one it replaces, the Veterans Well-being Act (2005).
Ottawa pouring an extra $3.6B into veterans’ benefits
December 20, 2018
The Liberal government today initiated an intricate overhaul of the system to compensate wounded ex-soldiers, but it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to placate a volatile community of Canadian veterans.
What the federal government is introducing Wednesday is a patchwork allowing veterans to take either the lump sum or a lifetime pension, which would deliver a maximum tax-free payment of $1,150 per month. In addition, the Liberals will introduce another tax-free pain and suffering award on top of the existing one. It too will come in either lump sum or pension form that would give wounded veterans up to $1,500 per month, depending on their level of disability.
These changes are scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2019.
Injured veterans to get choice over pensions or lump-sum payments
January 20, 2016
Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr says his department is drawing up plans to offer injured ex-soldiers the choice of lump-sum payments or lifetime pensions when they leave the military, despite the government's tight fiscal situation.
"We made commitments to our veterans to offer the lump sum or lifetime pension option," he said. "We are putting my department through the paces of coming up with real, viable plans to allow veterans that choice, to allow them to make a clear decision (by) understanding the financial ramifications."