Defeated MPs sent home with big, guaranteed pensions
Canadian taxpayers will be shelling out about $110 million in retirement benefits to more than 100 former MPs who won't be returning to Parliament Hill following last week's election.
Longtime Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe -- who dedicated his political life to the breakup of Canada -- will be taking in about $150,000 a year in the form of a guaranteed pension. That equals a total payment of almost $3 million by the time he turns 80.
Those pensions, which kick in after six years of service, are completely guaranteed by the government and are not subject to the volatility of the market.
Derek Filderbrandt, national research director, for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it's time for serious reform of MPs' affluent retirement packages, when about 70 per cent of Canadians receive no private pensions at all.
"MPs, as the people responsible for overseeing the performance of our economy, are not subject to the reality of it when it comes to their pensions," Filderbrandt told CTV News Channel on Sunday.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling for bringing those pensions into line with the norms of the private sector – a matching dollar-for-dollar defined contribution pension plan.
Currently, taxpayers chip in $4 for every $1 contributed by an MP to the plan.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling for Canadians to pressure their local MP and the party leaders for reform.
Filderbrandt says he's "confident" the Conservative government and the NDP opposition can "work together to restore dignity to Parliament" by dealing with the pension issue.
"Canadians have such little faith and respect for Parliament and largely for good reason, this would show MPs are in it for the right reasons," he said.
The pensions are on top of severance payouts some politicians receive. MPs under the age of 55 receive a lump-sum payout of the equivalent of 50 per cent of their annual salary if they are knocked out of office after six years.
MPs who don't qualify for pensions are still eligible for the lump-sum severance package.
- 18 former MPs will take in more than $100,000 a year in pensions
- Recently-elected 19-year-old Pierre-Luc Dusseault is one win away from a $30,000 pension at the age of 25
- Average CPP payout is about $6,000 a year