A number is never just a number: Benefits of pension income splitting

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The year Canada's federal government extended to senior families the opportunity to partake in extra tax breaks through pension income splitting. (Source: Finance Canada, 2007 Federal Budget, pg 222.)

1 out of 5

Number of Canada's senior families among the richest 10 per cent who receive more than $1,000 in tax breaks from pension income splitting. (Source)

1 out of 1,000

Number of Canada's senior families in the poorest half of the income spectrum who receive more than $1,000 in tax breaks from pension income splitting. (Source)


Estimated average tax break enjoyed the Canada’s richest 10 per cent of Canadian senior couples who take advantage of pension income splitting at tax time. (Source)

10 cents

Estimated average tax break the poorest 10 per cent of senior couples in Canada get from pension income splitting. (Source)

7 out of 10

Number of seniors who enjoy no benefit whatsoever from pension income splitting. (Source)

$1.7 billion

The estimated cost of lost provincial and federal revenues in 2015 due to pension income splitting. For about the same amount ($1.5 billion), the federal government could have invested in a program to lift all poor seniors above Canada’s after-tax Low Income Measure. (Source)


The year the federal Conservative party (now in majority government) promised to extend income splitting perks to families with children under the age of 18. (Source)


The average benefit the richest five per cent of Canadian families with children under 18 would enjoy a year if the federal government widened the income splitting tax loophole to include families with kids. (Source)


The average tax break the bottom 60 per cent families with children under 18 (those making $56,000 or less) would receive from income splitting. (Source)


Percentage of all Canadian families who would gain no benefit whatsoever from income splitting. (Source)

$3 billion

Estimated loss in federal revenues if the federal government extends income splitting to include families with children under 18. (Source)

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The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's Trish Hennessy has long been a fan of Harper Magazine's one-page list of eye-popping statistics, Harper's Index. Instead of wishing for a Canadian version to magically appear, she's created her own index -- a monthly listing of numbers about Canada and its place in the world. Hennessy's Index -- A number is never just a number -- comes out at the beginning of each month.

Photo: flickr/duckiemonster


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