By Jordan Bateman, BC CTF. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has calculated the pensions of all MLAs who did not win or seek re-election last night. The total payout could top $26 million.
MLAs are eligible for pensions after six years of service. Pensions increase by the rate of inflation every year, and can be collected at age 65. The CTF’s lifetime estimate figures assume the individual lives to age 80. Taxpayers put in $4 for every $1 a politician pays into their pension account.
“The MLA pension payout ATM is spitting out cash at a rate taxpayers can only dream of,” said Jordan Bateman, CTF B.C. Director. “A dozen former MLAs will soon join the million dollar pension club – while most of us are scraping together every nickel we can find for our own retirements.”
These numbers assume MLAs “bought back” missing time from 1996 to 2007, when there was a far more modest pension system in place. The list of MLAs who bought back has been kept secret, but the CTF have yet to hear from any of the retirees that they didn’t buy back that missing time.
Exiting MLAs also receive up to 15 months of severance at the $101,859 MLA annual salary—which includes a top-up if the politician takes a job at less than six figures. They are also eligible for up to $9,000 in “training” funds.
“Not only do these MLAs receive overly generous pensions, they get a severance package and training money,” said Bateman. “Taxpayers are on the hook for millions just to transition these politicians back to the real world.”
Bateman noted that in 1996, the BC Liberals ran against this type of gold-plated pension plan, and that NDP Premier Glen Clark brought in a fairer, dollar-for-dollar system. Unfortunately, the BC Liberals flip-flopped in 2007, bringing back a gold-plated plan and allowing MLAs to buy back missing years of service.
Not included in this list or $26 million total is Premier Christy Clark, who lost her Vancouver-Point Grey seat last night. In the highly unlikely event she does not seek a seat elsewhere, her year 1 pension would start at $59,900 for a lifetime total of $1.03 million.
The full list of MLAs receiving pensions:
Jordan Bateman is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation B.C. Director. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-999-3319.
Gordon Campbell (Vancouver-Point Grey; 15 years): $98,175 year 1; $1.7 million lifetime
*left office in 2011
Bill Barisoff (Penticton; 17 years): $90,992 year 1; $1.57 million lifetime
Ida Chong (Oak Bay-Gordon Head; 17 years): $89,405 year 1; $1.55 million lifetime
George Abbott (Shuswap; 17 years): $89,084 year 1; $1.54 million lifetime
Colin Hansen (Vancouver-Quilchena; 17 years): $89,039 year 1; $1.54 million lifetime
Murray Coell (Saanich North and the Islands; 17 years): $89,000 year 1; $1.54 million lifetime
Kevin Krueger (Kamloops-South Thompson; 17 years): $87,700 year 1; $1.5 million lifetime
Barry Penner (Chilliwack-Hope; 15 years): $78,500 year 1; $1.35 million lifetime
*left office in 2011
Pat Bell (Prince George-Mackenzie; 12 years): $63,109 year 1; $1.09 million lifetime
Kevin Falcon (Surrey-Cloverdale; 12 years): $62,893 year 1; $1.09 million lifetime
Blair Lekstrom (Peace River South; 12 years): $59,912 year 1; $1.04 million lifetime
Randy Hawes (Abbotsford-Mission; 12 years): $53,000 year 1; $847,000 lifetime (14 years until he turns 80)
Harry Bloy (Burnaby-Lougheed; 12 years): $49,000 year 1; $720,000 lifetime (13 years until he turns 80)
John Les (Chilliwack; 12 years): $48,289 year 1; $835,000 lifetime
Dave Hayer (Surrey-Tynehead; 12 years): $47,600 year 1; $824,000 lifetime
Ron Cantelon (Parksville-Qualicum; 8 years): $34,490 year 1; $596,000 lifetime
Joan McIntyre (West Vancouver-Sea to Sky; 8 years): $32,875 year 1; $568,500 lifetime
Iain Black (Port Moody-Coquitlam; 6 years): $30,000 year 1; $520,000 lifetime
*left office in 2011
Margaret MacDiarmid (Vancouver-Fairview; 4 years): Ineligible—less than six years of service
Mary McNeil (Vancouver False Creek; 4 years): Ineligible—less than six years of service
Rob Howard (Richmond Centre; 4 years): Ineligible—less than six years of service
Kash Heed (Vancouver Fraserview; 4 years): Ineligible—less than six years of service
Harry Lali (Fraser-Nicola; 14 years): $63,886 year 1; $1.1 million lifetime
Jagrup Brar (Surrey-Fleetwood; 9 years): $32,114 year 1; $555,000 lifetime
Guy Gentner (Delta North; 8 years): $28,965 year 1; $500,000 lifetime
Diane Thorne (Coquitlam-Maillardville; 8 years): $28,875 year 1; $461,000 lifetime (14 years to age 80)
Michael Sather (Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge; 8 years): $28,500 year 1; $490,000 lifetime
Gary Coons (North Coast; 8 years): $28,500 year 1; $490,000 lifetime
Gwen O’Mahoney (Chilliwack-Hope; 1 year): Ineligible—less than six years of service
Joe Trasolini (Port Moody-Coquitlam; 1 year): Ineligible—less than six years of service
Dawn Black (4 years): Ineligible—less than six years of service
Black does receive an MP pension: $41,560 year 1; $790,000 lifetime (not included in the total calculation for this release)
John van Dongen (Abbotsford-South; 18 years): $85,591 year 1; $1.48 million lifetime
Bob Simpson (Cariboo North; 8 years): $28,500 year 1; $490,000 lifetime
John Slater (Boundary – Similkameen; 4 years): Ineligible—less than six years of service
B.C. Conservative Party
John Cummins (BCCP leader): Ineligible—was never an MLA
Cummins is currently collecting an MP pension: $96,581 year 1; $1.3 million lifetime (age 69-80; not included in the total calculation for this release)