..... and how are your private sector pensions growing taxpayers?
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells,
And pretty all in a row.
..... But lots of weeds and no f...ing private sector pensions!
Many MPs will get pensions topping $100,000 a year for life
By Jason Fekete
Friday, July 5, 2013
OTTAWA — Many federal politicians who decide to retire at the next election are set to walk away with millions of dollars from the lucrative parliamentary pension plan.
With a cabinet shuffle expected soon, some federal cabinet ministers have announced they won’t seek re-election and MPs from all parties are considering their political futures.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy, other original Reform MPs, longtime Liberal MP Ralph Goodale and New Democrats Pat Martin and Peter Stoffer are among the MPs who could take home at least a couple of million dollars over their lifetimes should they retire in October 2015 (the next expected election) and live until age 90, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
The total payouts could, however, be much smaller depending on the lifespan of individual MPs and when they actually retire. A number of MPs such as Toews, Goodale, Martin and Stoffer have not said they are retiring.
The spending watchdog, invited to do the math by Postmedia News, calculated the pension plan for members of Parliament and senators will pay many longtime MPs more than $100,000 a year for the rest of their lives. Indexed to inflation, the plan will pay millions of dollars each to MPs should they live until age 90 (the average life expectancy of MPs in the pension plan, according to the government’s own actuary).
“We just don’t believe that Canadians get good value for this pension plan,” said Gregory Thomas, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“Politics shouldn’t be a vehicle for an individual to get rich and become a multimillionaire. Politicians shouldn’t be working for peanuts, but I don’t think most Canadians are aware of how lucrative these pension schemes have become.”
Cabinet ministers are paid higher salaries and accrue larger annual pension benefits than backbench MPs, meaning their yearly and total payouts are generally larger.
The federal government recently adopted changes to the parliamentary pension plan — including tripling MP contributions and increasing retirement age — but these take effect after the next election.
Under the reforms adopted by the Conservative government, annual pension contributions for MPs will increase to nearly $39,000 by 2017 — from about $11,000 currently — bringing parliamentarians’ contributions up to a 50-50 split between the government and the individual MP.
The significant hike in MP contributions will likely have some federal politicians reconsidering whether they want to seek re-election in 2015, having to give up a significantly larger portion of their paycheques after that.
Those parliamentarians who do call it quits will have a golden parachute on their way out the House of Commons doors.
Here’s a list of some of the potential payouts to longer-serving MPs as well as cabinet ministers not seeking re-election, as calculated by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (assuming MPs don’t run again in 2015 and live until age 90):
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews
- Elected in 2000; minister since 2006
- If he leaves cabinet this month but remains MP until 2015, annual pension of approximately $90,000; total lifetime pension of about $3.2 million to age 90
Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy
- Elected in 1993; minister/secretary of state since 2007
- If she leaves cabinet this month but remains MP until 2015, annual pension of about $130,000 a year, total lifetime pension of about $4 million to age 90
Liberal MP and former cabinet minister Ralph Goodale
- Elected 1974-79; 1993 to present (served in cabinet for the Chretien and Martin governments)
- Annual pension of around $165,000 if he sits until 2015, total lifetime pension of more than $5 million until age 90
Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis
- Elected in 1988
- Annual pension of approximately $119,000, total lifetime pension of more than $4.8 million until age 90
New Democrat MP Pat Martin
- Elected 1997
- Annual pension of more than $93,000; total lifetime pension of about $3.8 million until age 90
Bloc Quebecois MP Louis Plamondon
- Elected in 1984
- Annual pension of approximately $119,000; total lifetime pension of more than $2.5 million until age 90
Taxpayers contributed approximately $29.4 million to the parliamentary pension plan during the 2011-12 fiscal year (most recent data available), while MPs and senators contributed only $4.7 million — meaning Canadians paid nearly $6.25 for every $1 paid by federal politicians.
But when you factor in the more than $90 million in interest and adjustments (eventually covered by taxpayers) attached to the MP pension accounts, Canadians are ultimately paying $25.50 into the parliamentary pension plan for every dollar contributed by the politicians, says the taxpayers federation.
The average annual pension in 2011-12 was $58,051 for former MPs and $66,218 for former senators.
After the next election, expected in 2015, MPs will have to wait until age 65 to collect their full pension, instead of the current age of 55. The recent reforms did not include changes to the eligibility rules that stipulate an MP qualifies for the pension plan after serving six years in office.
The government expects the changes to the parliamentary pension plan will save taxpayers $29 million over five years.
Also, the reforms substantially cut the additional pension plan for prime ministers who serve more than four years, in a move that will almost certainly cost Prime Minister Stephen Harper more than $1 million over the course of his lifetime.