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FINANCE / HOUSING

Pre- and Post-Release Income: Life After Service Studies

July, 2014
Article:

This study of veterans’ income is part of the Life After Service Studies program of research aimed at understanding the transition from military to civilian life. This report describes income trends pre- and post- release, for both Regular and Reserve Force Veterans.

Abstract

This study of Veterans income is part of the Life After Service Studies program of research aimed at understanding the transition from military to civilian life. This report describes income trends pre- and post- release, for both Regular and Reserve Force Veterans. Statistics Canada produced aggregate tables from a linkage of records on military releases, Veterans Affairs Canada client status and tax files for three groups: 51,990 Regular Force Veterans (released 1998 to 2011) and 15,596 Class A/B Reserves and 3,185 Class C Reserves (both released 2003 to 2011). Average income in the year prior to release was $70,900 (in 2011 constant dollars), increasing in the release year then declining the year after to $65,000. Post-release income reached pre-release income eight years post release. The largest source of income was earnings, followed by pensions and government transfers. While government transfers (employment insurance, social assistance, guaranteed income supplement) increased post release, receipt of such was temporary. Thirty-eight (38%) received EI and 4% received SA or GIS at least one year post release, and only 2% received EI and none received SA or GIS in every year post release. Average decline in income for the Regular Force cohort (compares, for the same Veterans, the pre-release year and all the first three years post release) was 2%. The majority of this cohort (64%) were not VAC clients. Clients experienced an 11% decline in income post release compared to an increase of 4% for non-clients. More than onequarter (27%) of the cohort were aged 29 and under at release and clients were older than non-clients. Declines in income, which can significantly impact the transition experience, differed considerably between sub-populations. For example, medical releases had one of the greatest declines in income (20%). Compared to the overall average of 36%, 80% of medical releases were clients, indicating that the Department is reaching many of those who medically released.

Full Reference

MacLean, M. B., Campbell, L., Van Til, L., Poirier, A., Sweet, J., McKinnon, K., Sudom, K., Dursun, S., Herron, M. and Pedlar, D., 2014. Pre- and Post-Release Income: Life After Service Studies. Charlottetown (PE): Veterans Affairs Canada, Research Directorate Technical Report.

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