Site Home   Gender and Poverty       Introduction to Gender and Health   The Gender Lens Tool

Retirement Income



Margaret is a 76 year old retired woman who lives on her own in a small apartment. Her husband passed away three years ago of lung cancer. Margaret spent most of her life taking care of the family home and the couple’s 3 children. She held a few part time secretarial jobs, but never contributed to a company pension. Her husband held a number of different jobs in his working years, and never spent more than 5 years in the same job. Margaret and her husband were able to get by on their modest income, but rarely had money left over to save for their retirement.

Currently, Margaret’s yearly income is $12,835, placing her well below the low income cut-off for the size of city in which she lives. She receives Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments from the government. In addition, she is entitled to 60% of her husband’s Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payment, although this was only 50% of the maximum amount. She receives a small amount of investment income.