MP pension reform praised, bill short-listed

MP contributions almost quadrupled, 10 years added to retirement age

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is welcoming reforms to the MP and government employee pension plans, calling it the “most significant reform to MP pensions we’ve seen in our 22-year history.”

The changes recently introduced into Parliament by the Conservative government will see MP pension contributions currently slightly more than $11,000 a year climb to almost $39,000 by 2017.

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod says she has been committed to supporting changes for some time now.

“Since I was elected in 2008, I’ve heard loud and clear from people throughout this riding that they believe the MP pension plans were too rich.”

The CTF also applauded the decision to move both MPs and new government employees to a retirement age of 65 for a full pension, beginning in 2015.

A decade of additional pension payments for MPs will make a “vast improvement” to current pension inequities for Canadians, the CTF states.

McLeod adds she is “very proud” of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s leadership on the issue, and of his listening to taxpayers.

“The changes to move toward both paying our fair share and increasing the retirement age from 55 to 65, as the taxpayers federation has said, is the biggest move that any government has made in many years.”

She notes Harper also leading by example by making significant changes to his own special allowance (PM pension plan).

The CTF estimates that once all the reforms are in place, a new MP elected after 2017 would be eligible for a $101,000 annual pension after three terms of office. That same MP would have contributed nearly $589,000 towards that pension.

Treasury Board president Tony Clement said it will save taxpayers $2.6 billion over five years.

However, these changes to the public service pension plan are “one step” towards solving the imbalance with those in the private sector – most of whom have no pension at all – while paying for “very rich” pensions for government workers, CTF adds.

The federation also expressed its disappointment that government didn’t require the MP pension fund to be invested, so those returns could top up the fund, rather than resulting in “phony” interest payments and adjustments in a further hit to taxpayers.

However, McLeod’s responds by reiterating that such a “huge, significant and important” change as this will leave MPs “paying their fair share.”

Some taxpayers continue to complain they have contributed big money for decades, so they could retire with a full pension still much smaller than an MPs, but McLeod says that gap is narrowing.

“I was involved in health care before, and it’s becoming not dissimilar to those sorts of [pension] plans.”

She explains people may be misunderstanding the MP pension plans provide less money for fewer years’ contributions, increasing as time and the amount of actual contributions accumulate.

“An MP that only works six years has only invested six years into it; it’s the same as for nurses. Years of contributory service are years of service, whether it be MPs or it be nurses.”

In another twist, MPs voted to remove pension reform from an omnibus bill with a multitude of other new legislation on Oct. 19.

The prodigious bill could have taken many weeks to pass, but would have seen pension reform opponents, in or out of the Conservative caucus, under pressure to vote in favour of it in order to support other initiatives in the bill.

Instead, members of the House of Commons will now vote separately on the pension changes.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtney Driver is the new president of the 100 Mile Performing Arts Society. (Photo submitted)
100 Mile Performing Arts Society elects new president

Courtney Driver wants to provide more diverse events

Erica Henderson the supervisor of early year services and programs at South Cariboo Early Years Centre and others were giving out Halloween Family Activity Kits the week leading up to Halloween. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Halloween activity kits offered to kids at home

South Cariboo Early Years Centre is finding ways to bring activities into children’s homes.

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerskson of the BC Liberal Party and his partner Shelley Wiese celebrate at his campaign office in downtown Williams Lake Oct. 24. Doerkson has been elected as the new MLA in Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Angie Mindus photo)
Updated: Lorne Doerkson elected in Cariboo Chilcotin in preliminary results

Outgoing MLA Donna Barnett said win is ‘exciting’ for region

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Most Read