Time to challenge MPs pensions

Writer decries large pensions received by federal politicians

For the past few weeks I have been researching the pension plan offered to Members of Parliament and have found it to be a lavish expenditure of taxpayers’ money – an expenditure that we Canadians cannot afford.

Please consider the following :

– Canada is currently in debt over 580 Billion dollars with the debt increasing everyday.

– MP’s receive between $157,000 and $314,000 per year – the average Canadian earns $45,000 per year.

– After six years of service MP’s are entitled to a pension when they reach the age of 55 the government is discussing raising the age of a Canadian pension to 67.

– An MP’s pension is calculated at 3% X years of service X salary. The average MP pension is $78,000m per year. Most Canadians do not have a work related pension. Their retirement income is based on what they are able to save with a small supplement in the form of government pensions.

– MP’s pensions are not invested and subject to fluctuations. An MP’s pension is banked and the Canadian taxpayer ensures that the fund grows at a rate of 10.4% per year. Most Canadians relying on investment income have seen their income decline due to record low interest rates.

– Tony Clement a long time Conservative and future recipient of the MP pension plan has been entrusted to review the plan. Is this not a conflict?

Whenever I speak with anyone (MPs excluded) they tell me that they know that the MPs’ pension plans are unfair and unaffordable. They then shrug and say something to the effect of “What can you do?”

The truth is that individuals can do little by as a group can do a lot. If everyone who felt as I do called or emailed their MP and expressed their concerns, the government would need to listen. Silence implies consent. As long as we say nothing, Members of Parliament are free to assume the taxpayers see nothing wrong with their level of remuneration.

We are only powerless to affect change if we believe ourselves to be so.

Andree D’Andrea

Maple Ridge