Tony Clement will assess MP pension 'ripoff' for taxpayers


mentalfloss
#1
Taxpayers federation lambastes MP pension 'rip off'

OTTAWA — The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says it's high time MPs stopped making Canadians pick up the tab for their "gold-plated" pension plan.

"This is a ripoff on a massive scale," the advocacy group's federal director, Gregory Thomas, said at a news conference on Parliament Hill Wednesday announcing its report on parliamentarians' pensions.

The federation says that while officially taxpayers contribute $5.80 for every dollar an MP contributes to his or her pension, that figure does not include "disguised 'interest' and accounting fiction." Its calculations say taxpayers are actually on the hook for $23.30 for every dollar an MP contributes.

While MPs earn a base salary of $157,731 per year, the total contributions to the parliamentary pension fund amounts to $248,668 per year, Thomas said.

MPs are eligible to collect full pension benefits when they are 55, if they sit in Parliament for six years or longer. If all current MPs collected their pensions, Thomas said, the total lifetime payout would amount to some $277 million.

Thomas said the MP pension fund does not invest in the market like the Canada Pension Plan or RRSPs, but instead just dips into public coffers each quarter. "The government simply passed a decree paying interest to the MP pension fund, and at a staggering rate," he said. "This outrageous rate means they have basically the best performing pension over 10 years on the planet."

Insulated from market forces, Thomas said, the MP pension fund has done 60 per cent better than the Canadian Pension Plan over the past 10 years. "The 'return' on this fund is set by cabinet," Thomas said. "But it's a phoney return on an imaginary investment."

Treasury Board President Tony Clement said he is examining the issue of MP pensions as part of the larger government-wide spending review. He said the government's first step was to freeze MP salaries, but that this will not be the last.

"I've been tasked to come back with some options on MP and public service pensions, and I will be doing so," he told CBC News. "These options are on the table."

Clement said no decisions have been made, but alluded there would be some announcement on MP pensions in the next budget.

The Opposition says Parliament has better things to do than tinkering with MPs' pensions.

"We've got a lot more important things to be doing," said NDP MP Joe Comartin. "There are just too many other things that need to be addressed in the pension field specifically." Comartin said the government is beating the MP pension drum to distract the public from its lack of action on pensions that directly affect Canadians.

"This is really a smokescreen for the government not to act on the other ones, such as reforms to the Canada Pension Plan," as well as looking after Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, he said. Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner said Canadians should be wary of the federation, which he described as a "branch office of the Conservatives" and "so deeply entrenched in (the) digestive tract of Tories that it's embarrassing."

He noted that senior Tories, such as Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and others got their start in politics at the federation.

Cuzner said it's strange the group launched a full-scale attack on parliamentary pensions, but stayed silent on accountability issues such as G20 spending or the untendered F-35 stealth fighters contract.

"Obviously, this is something to shift the attention of Canadian taxpayers," he said. "To trot out the old faithful pension plan, it seems to be just the thing to do by these guys."

Opposition MPs said it was the government's job to make proposals on how to fix MP pensions, if they need fixing at all. "As our leader, Bob Rae, said back in November, we're happy to look at any proposal the government brings forward," said Liberal MP John McCallum. "MPs should set an example during a time of austerity."

Comartin said if the issue is to be examined, the government should appoint an independent commission to adjudicate the issue.

"If there is going to be a review of the MPs' pensions, it has to be done by an independent commission, as it has been the last two times," said Comartin. "It takes partisan politics out of it." Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Canadians expect their politicians to be reasonable in how they fund their pension plan.

"Pension remuneration for people in the public service, and public service in Canada ought to be — including members of Parliament, including senators, including everybody in public life, including provincial politicians, including mayors, including councillors — ought to be reasonable, and the test of reasonableness requires a review of these types of systems," he said.

"People of Canada expect us to be reasonable in the pension compensation and the other compensation that is received for benefits and for salaries as well."

Taxpayers federation lambastes MP pension 'rip off'
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
#2
Six years to get a pension. Hmm. Sounds like a better deal than any other job available.
 
relic
Free Thinker
+1
#3
Yeah tony will get to the bottom of this right quick,'cause he's so good with other peoples money. Geebus !!
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
+2
#4
Politicians should get no pension until they've served for 35 years and no more than 70% of their salary!
 
mentalfloss
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Politicians should get no pension until they've served for 35 years and no more than 70% of their salary!

Sounds like crazy occupier logic to me!
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Sounds like crazy occupier logic to me!

Whatever the hell that means. That was the formula for my gov't. pension. Should I have to fund a richer pension for someone else?
 
wulfie68
No Party Affiliation
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Politicians should get no pension until they've served for 35 years and no more than 70% of their salary!

Now you're going too far the other way. Pension and salaries for elected officials need to be FAIR, otherwise we will fail even more miserably than we do now at attracting the best and brightest to fill our leadership positions. I think the idea of an independent review, reporting to a parlimentary committee is the best way to handle this, but I also think we need to keep some perspective here:

- yes MP pension benefits may be out of whack but they are still a small ticket item in the big picture of running the country. This does not mean ignore the issue but don't obsess about it and devote attention out of proportion to its overall importance

- MPs are giving up some of the years of their lives with the best earning potential, and this also needs to figure into the equation. Again it comes back to fairness and the need to attract the best people to the job.

It seems like ever couple of years people get on the bandwagon about MP salaries/pensions and while I don't think they deserve as much as they do get, I think we, the public, do devote too much attention to them in proportion to other issues. Yes, I know its the kind of thing where we feel a personal resentment ("how come that useless ****head gets this, which is 2,3 or 4 times what I do, busting my hump?"), we need to regain our objectivity.
 
mentalfloss
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Whatever the hell that means. That was the formula for my gov't. pension. Should I have to fund a richer pension for someone else?

No, no you should not.
 
DaSleeper
+2
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Politicians should get no pension until they've served for 35 years and no more than 70% of their salary!

The formula for my pension was 1% to 1.5% of an average yearly amount of the best 5 years times the number of years of service, depending on your job description, in my case 40 years, + 400$ a month bridging until OAS which replaced it, making my net pension after taxes, about half of my wages, which isn't all that great.... but isn't bad.
The main problem with MPs' pensions is that it is not paid from the revenue of invested capital but directly from taxpayers' funding.
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68 View Post

Now you're going too far the other way. Pension and salaries for elected officials need to be FAIR, otherwise we will fail even more miserably than we do now at attracting the best and brightest to fill our leadership positions. I think the idea of an independent review, reporting to a parlimentary committee is the best way to handle this, but I also think we need to keep some perspective here:

- yes MP pension benefits may be out of whack but they are still a small ticket item in the big picture of running the country. This does not mean ignore the issue but don't obsess about it and devote attention out of proportion to its overall importance

- MPs are giving up some of the years of their lives with the best earning potential, and this also needs to figure into the equation. Again it comes back to fairness and the need to attract the best people to the job.

It seems like ever couple of years people get on the bandwagon about MP salaries/pensions and while I don't think they deserve as much as they do get, I think we, the public, do devote too much attention to them in proportion to other issues. Yes, I know its the kind of thing where we feel a personal resentment ("how come that useless ****head gets this, which is 2,3 or 4 times what I do, busting my hump?"), we need to regain our objectivity.

I'm not sure how you call $277 million a year a small ticket. These guys are really the lowest of the low in our society. 99% chose to run for office for fame or to stroke their ego and enjoy the power trip. I have met very few politicians at any level that are there to do what's best for Joe public and think they should get minimum wage and basic benefits until they can provide fully funded essential services with a balanced budget. As long as they are responsive to the corporate sector and keep squandering our money I say F*ck em all....let them retire on COP and OAS like so many taxpayers who busted hump for 40+ years.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
+3
#11  Top Rated Post
Tony Clement to investigate....

Fox to guard henhouse....
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Tony Clement to investigate....

Fox to guard henhouse....

It's a joke! (I may have been born at night but it wasn't last night)
 
Johnnny
No Party Affiliation
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

The formula for my pension was 1% to 1.5% of an average yearly amount of the best 5 years times the number of years of service, depending on your job description, in my case 40 years, + 400$ a month bridging until OAS which replaced it, making my net pension after taxes, about half of my wages, which isn't all that great.... but isn't bad.
The main problem with MPs' pensions is that it is not paid from the revenue of invested capital but directly from taxpayers' funding.

If this is true than this is the best comment on this post so far
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

Six years to get a pension. Hmm. Sounds like a better deal than any other job available.


It's the Greek Plan.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_Soldier View Post

It's the Greek Plan.

If it was a 12 year plan we probably wouldn't have to pay any of the bastards!
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#16
I trust Tony implicitly; he's like Family.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

I trust Tony implicitly; he's like Family.

So was Al Capone!
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

I'm not sure how you call $277 million a year a small ticket. These guys are really the lowest of the low in our society. 99% chose to run for office for fame or to stroke their ego and enjoy the power trip.

Blame the electorate for allowing themselves to be screwed.

Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

I have met very few politicians at any level that are there to do what's best for Joe public and think they should get minimum wage and basic benefits until they can provide fully funded essential services with a balanced budget.

If you want people just out of high school to be going for the job, I guess that can work. Hell, kids in high school sometimes get jobs that pay better than that.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#19
Any bets the rules will change - in time for the Harper Government replacements?
 

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