Public and stakeholder consultations will focus on seniors as the first phase of the Government’s work towards a comprehensive national strategy reflective of all Canadians
June 17, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Today, Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson and Minister of State (Seniors) Alice Wong joined forces with Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader Jane Rooney to launch consultations on a proposed strategy to help improve the financial literacy of Canadians. Recognizing the unique and often significant challenges faced by near and current seniors, the first phase of consultations will focus on seniors. Additional phases will follow with an emphasis on low-income Canadians, Aboriginal peoples, newcomers to Canada, and children, youth and adults.
The proposed blueprint, Toward a National Strategy for Financial Literacy – Phase 1: Strengthening Seniors’ Financial Literacy, is intended to encourage discussion and invites comments from all Canadians on ways to bolster the financial literacy of seniors and those approaching this phase of their lives. Stakeholders from the public, private and non-profit sector will take part in in-person sessions across the country. All Canadians are encouraged to submit comments on the blueprint by mail or email by July 15, 2014.
- In 2009, Canada’s Task Force on Financial Literacy met with stakeholders across the country to hear their views on strengthening Canadians’ financial literacy. Many of the Task Force recommendations have been implemented or will be by the end of 2014. Key actions taken have included:
In Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government committed to working with stakeholders to implement a financial literacy strategy that specifically responds to the needs of seniors.
Seniors were identified as a priority group because research shows that financial literacy skills among seniors are low compared to other groups of Canadians. In the 2009 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, seniors had lower scores than younger adults in four areas.
In 2011, an estimated 5 million people were 65 or older in Canada. That number is expected to double by 2036, reaching about 10.4 million seniors.
The national strategy for financial literacy is expected to be released in summer 2015.
- Financial Literacy Month was launched in 2011 to engage organizations across Canada in a month-long effort to promote financial literacy. Last November, 91 organizations participated and offered 443 financial education activities to Canadians.
- In March 2013, the Financial Literacy Leader Act (Bill C-28) was passed; implementing the Task Force’s first recommendation. Jane Rooney was appointed as Canada’s first Financial Literacy Leader on April 15, 2014.
“In today’s increasingly complex financial marketplace, financial literacy is key to helping seniors make better financial decisions. When seniors have access to the tools they need to make those decisions, not only do they improve their own personal finances but the economy as a whole benefits as well.”
Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)
“Our Government is committed to improving the lives of seniors in many ways, including financial literacy. It is a critical life skill for all Canadians and particularly for Canadian seniors—who often face unique financial challenges.”
Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
“We are committed to working with stakeholders to better understand the unique challenges faced by seniors. I look forward to hearing from Canadians and stakeholders alike throughout this process to ensure that we implement a national strategy that will respond to seniors’ needs.”
Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader
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Office of the Minister of State (Finance)
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