October 19, 2012
MP pension changes removed from budget bill
By Mark Dunn, Senior National Reporter
OTTAWA - The NDP and Liberals each claimed victory Friday for getting the Conservatives to swiftly remove proposed changes to MP pensions from a bulky budget bill for speedy passage.
Opposition parties had been demanding the so-called 'poison pill' be passed as stand-alone legislation, and the government said Friday it would comply. It raced through the House and now awaits the Senate.
"It is unfortunate that we had to force the government to do the right thing on this issue, but we are satisfied that we were able to bring about these changes without delay," said interim Liberal leader Bob Rae.
The pension changes over five years would raise the age of eligibility to 65 from 55 and put more of an onus on MPs to pay into the lucrative plan.
Under the plan criticized as obscene and grossly out of whack with private and public plans, each MP chips in $11,000 annually and taxpayers pay $68,000.
Under the changes, each MP would pay just under $39,000 per year by 2017 and taxpayers about $40,000.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimates that a new MP elected after 2017 would be eligible for a $101,000 pension after three terms.
MPs could still begin drawing their pensions at 55, but at a reduced amount until age 65 when the full pension would be paid.