June 29, 2012
MP pension hoard hits $1 billion
By Mark Dunn, Senior National Reporter
OTTAWA - The pension pool for MPs will hit nearly $1 billion Saturday after taxpayers inject $23 million to fatten the golden goose.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) said the quarterly 10.4% interest deposit is akin to raiding the wallet of working Canadians to ensure retired or defeated parliamentarians live the high life when they turn 55.
They must serve at least six years to collect.
"It certainly provides peace of mind, knowing that you are one of a thousand people with a piece of a billion-dollar nest egg," CTF federal director Gregory Thomas said Friday about those eligible for the platinum plan.
To put it into perspective, the average Canada Pension Plan payout this year is $534.10 a month compared to $5,970 an average MP who retired last year receives.
While other invested plans fluctuate in value depending on the volatility of markets, MPs have no such worries because they are guaranteed a compounded annual rate of return of 10.4% paid for by taxpayers. In contrast, the S&P/TSX composite index lost 12.2% in the last 12 months.
For every $1 parliamentarians contributed to their plan last year, taxpayers gave $24.36, said Thomas. That works out to a compounded total of $4.5 million in parliamentarian contributions compared with $110.7 million from taxpayers.
"It's highway robbery," he said.
If the four million Canadians who receive CPP were paid like the average newly retired MP, it would cost $284 billion - more than the $276 billion 2012 federal budget, said the CTF.