BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has calculated the pensions of all MLAs who are not seeking re-election in British Columbia. The total lifetime payout amount for all of these MLAs is estimated to cost more than $20 million.
“While we thank these retiring politicians for their work, taxpayers need to know the huge cost of these gold-plated pensions,” said Kris Sims, BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “These pensions simply aren’t affordable for taxpayers. MLAs need to reform their pension plan.”
Former speaker and BC Liberal MLA Linda Reid will collect one of the highest per-year amounts. First elected in 1991, Reid will start collecting a pension of about $107,000 per year once she reaches 65 years of age. This will add up to a lifetime total of about $2.6 million.
Retiring former BC Liberal cabinet minister Rich Coleman will collect about $109,000 per year starting next year for a lifetime total of about $2.6 million.
Retiring NDP cabinet ministers Claire Trevena, Shane Simpson, Carole James and Scott Fraser, all first elected in 2005, have the third-highest annual pension amounts, receiving about $80,000 per year and lifetime totals of about $2 million each.
MLA pensions are calculated by taking the highest earning years of the retiring MLAs and factoring in their years of work. The annual pension payments are capped at 70 per cent of the highest earning years.
For every $1 the politicians contribute to their own pension plans, taxpayers pay $4.
“It’s time to end these rich pension schemes,” said Sims. “Most Canadians are lucky if their employer matches a dollar-for-dollar RRSP. There’s no justification for taxpayers to put in $4 for every $1 an MLA chips in.”
In addition to these pensions, MLAs who are not seeking re-election are allowed to collect the equivalent of their salaries for up to 15 months while they look for new jobs and they get up to $9,000 if they need skills training.
Estimated pension totals for MLAs who are retiring:
Tracy Redies, BC Liberal MLA – ineligible due to less than six years in office.
Claire Trevena, NDP Cabinet Minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
Shane Simpson, NDP Cabinet Minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
Scott Fraser, NDP Cabinet Minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
Carole James, NDP Cabinet Minister – estimated $82,000 per year, $2 million lifetime.
Michelle Mungall, NDP Cabinet Minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
Judy Darcy, NDP Cabinet Minister – estimated $37,000 per year, $647,000 lifetime.
Doug Donaldson, NDP Cabinet Minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
Rich Coleman, former BC Liberal Cabinet Minister – estimated $109,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
Linda Reid, former BC Liberal Speaker – estimated $107,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
John Yap, former BC Liberal Cabinet Minister – estimated $65,000 per year, $1.5 million lifetime
Darryl Plecas, Independent Speaker – estimated $38,000 per year, $714,000 lifetime.
Andrew Weaver, former Green Party Leader – estimated $31,000 per year, $764,000 lifetime.
Donna Barnett, BC Liberal MLA – estimated $46,000 per year, $400,000 lifetime.
Linda Larson – BC Liberal MLA – estimated $29,000 per year, $469,000 lifetime.
Ralph Sultan, former BC Liberal MLA – estimated $74,000 per year.