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Political Benefits for MPs

Dozens of MPs also collecting government pensions

A CBC analysis of the ethics filings of Canada’s 338 MPs found that 36 MPs reported receiving pension income on top of their salaries. Nearly 20 per cent of those MPs were getting pensions from either the federal government or the Canadian Armed Forces.

Most of the 36 MPs are getting pensions from various levels of government or public service jobs. Only two MPs are receiving pensions from private sector companies: New Democrat Scott Duvall, who gets a pension from steel producer ArcelorMittal Dofasco, and Conservative Peter Kent, 74, who gets a pension from Global Communications.

One MP, 72-year-old Liberal Ramesh Sangha, is collecting a pension from India’s air force.

While roughly half are 65 years or older, some of the double-dippers are as young as 48.

Not all MPs get pensions, former parliamentarian cautions

Former Liberal MP Glen Pearson says that those who have a career before going into politics have to decide whether to give up their highest-earning years to serve the public.

Of course, a winning candidate for federal office immediately earns a salary far beyond that of most Canadians for the years they’re in Parliament — just under $158,000 a year (the average family income in Canada in 2010 was $76,600, according to Statistics Canada).

But if they don’t make it beyond one election, they’ve lost out on their highest earning years in their previous career, Pearson points out.

Pearson won a byelection in London, Ont. on Nov. 27, 2006. He was defeated by Conservative MP Susan Truppe on May 2, 2011, giving him four and a half years in office.

Pearson, who is now too old to return to his previous career as a firefighter, often runs into former constituents who refer to what they assume is his huge pension.

Salaries of Canadian MPs 2015-16

The salaries of Canadian members of parliament (MPs) are adjusted on April 1 each year. Increases to MPs salaries are based on an index of base-wage increases from major settlements of private-sector bargaining units maintained by the Labour Program in the federal Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The Board of Internal Economy, the committee which handles the administration of the House of Commons, does not have to accept the index recommendation. On occasions in the past, the Board has put a freeze on MP salaries. In 2015, the MP salary increase was significantly more than what the government offered in negotiations with the public service.

For 2015-16, the salaries of Canadian members of parliament increased 2.3 percent. The bonuses that members of parliament receive for extra duties, for example being a cabinet minister or chairing a standing committee, were also increased. The increase also affects severance and pension payments for MPs leaving politics in 2015, which, as an election year, will be larger than normal.
Base Salary of Members of Parliament

All members of parliament now make a basic salary of $167,400, up from $163,700 in 2014.

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