A letter to Senator Larry W. Campbell from Association President Sandy Glenn asking that Senator Campbell review current legislation regarding the Marriage over Sixty Rule.
President Glenn’s letter reads as follows,
Good morning Senator Campbell
I want to bring your attention to what many RCMP Veterans consider outdated, unfair, and inappropriate existing legislation pertaining to RCMP and Military Veterans who get married after the age of 60 years.
More than 100 years ago, the Canadian government adopted the “Marriage over Sixty” rule, often disgustingly referred to as “The Gold Diggers Clause”. In essence, it stipulates if pensioners of the RCMP, Canadian Armed Forces, and other government departments get married after the age of 60 years, their spouse is not eligible for any portion of his/her pension once the pensioner dies. Nor will the surviving spouse be provided access to any health or dental insurance benefits. There is, however, a provision for the pensioner to defer up to 50% of his/her pension that can be provided to the surviving spouse.
At first blush, the deferring of up to 50% sounds somewhat reasonable, however, consider this: If a pensioner is receiving less than $2000 per month (and there are many older pensioners receiving much less than that amount), this means the couple must survive on $1000 per month, or $12,000 per year and that, sir, is well below the poverty level. In this day and age, that $1000 per month barely covers one’s rent. To make matters worse, there is no provision to permit the surviving spouse to maintain health or dental benefits.
Because of better living conditions today, it is not uncommon for a retiree to live to and beyond 85 years of age, meaning if married at the age of 60 years, the couple could live together for 25 years or more. If the deferred pension was at $1000 per month, this means the pensioner would have deferred $300,000, however, If the spouse pre-deceases the pensioner after 25 years, not one cent of that $300,000 is returned to the pensioner.
I have brought this unfair circumstance to your attention because you, along with other parliamentarians could bring about change by supporting and actively pursuing the eliminating this provision. I am therefore, as the current National President of the RCMP Veterans Association, asking your view of this unreasonable legislation and if you will actively support its removal.
A.P. (Sandy) Glenn
RCMP Veterans Association
Members Helping Members and Their Families