According to the February 11, 2014 federal budget, approximately 7,600 Canadian Armed Forces personnel leave the Canadian Armed Forces every year.
This includes approximately 1,000 personnel released for medical reasons beyond their control. Finding meaningful employment is a key factor in making a successful transition to civilian life. But it is also clear that some tax-efficient investment planning could help leverage some of the tax-free supports available to veterans. RDSP and TFSA investments, for example, could be helpful. Astute tax and financial pros may wish to zero in on some of the opportunities to help these distinguished Canadians.
Some of the income sources are substantial, as described below:
- A tax-free lump-sum disability award of up to $301,275.
- A tax-free disability pension of up to $2,617 per month for a single veteran without dependent children.
- A benefit of up to $1,725 per month to compensate permanently and severely impaired veterans for the lack of career opportunities.
- A benefit of up to $1,057 per month for permanently and severely impaired veterans who cannot find suitable, gainful employment.
- Post-release income supplements for veterans undergoing a rehabilitation process or who are totally and permanently incapacitated with a minimum salary currently set at $42,426.
- A tax-free payment of up to $1,411 per month for a single disabled veteran without dependent children who has completed a rehabilitation process, who is able to work, but has not been able to find a job or has a low-paying job.
- Vocational support and career counseling programs providing up to $75,800 in vocational rehabilitation and training.
- Support for disabled and aging veterans residing in long-term care facilities.
- Financial support to pay for funeral and burial services, which has been expanded in the most recent budget.
In addition, this budget announced that the Government proposes to enhance employment opportunities in the federal public service for medically released Canadian Armed Forces personnel by creating a statutory hiring priority in the Public Service Employment Act and by extending the duration of priority entitlements from two to five years for all medically released Canadian Armed Forces personnel. As well, it is proposed that the Public Service Employment Act give preference to eligible veterans in external public service job competitions and to allow Canadian Armed Forces personnel with at least three years of military service to participate in internal public service job competitions.
It’s Your Money. Your Life. Helping those who help others is just the right thing to do. Seeking opportunities to provide professional tax and wealth management advice to veterans is a great way to give back.
Evelyn Jacks is president of Knowledge Bureau and author of 51 books on tax and personal wealth management. Her newest book Jacks on Tax: 2014 Edition is now available. She is also the founder and director of the Distinguished Advisor Conference (DAC). The theme of the 2014 three day think tank in Horseshoe Bay, Texas Nov 9-12 will be “Think BIG: Find the Sweet Spots in Wealth Management” Follow Evelyn on Twitter at @EvelynJacks.