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Match MP and Senator Pensions to Public Service Retirement Benefits

MP and Senator Pensions Massively-Subsidized

by Morgan Duchesney

Match MP and Senator Pensions to Public Service Retirement Benefits


I noted Carleton University professor Ian Lee’s recent discussion of the issue of “massive unfunded liabilities” in the federal public service pension system. Now the Teflon-coated Fraser Institute has offered a new “study” on the topic but no one dares state the obvious hypocrisy of the proportionately vaster unfunded liabilities of existing MP and Senator pensions. Unfortunately, most public commentators focus on the soft target of public service pensions already been beaten bloody by corporate pundits who seem convinced that the only way to attract “quality” people to politics is through financial inducements that encourage the undesirable creation of professional politicians.


It pains me to subsidize the comfortable lifestyle of a man like  Mike Duffy who, in the words of C.S. Lewis, seems “…a creature of the petty rake-off pocketed with a petty joke in private and denied with the stalest platitudes in his public utterances…who had drifted into corruption, and chiefly because everyone else did it.” It does Duffy no good to remind people that his chief crime was providing a useful distraction for an embattled Prime Minister whose tactical ruthlessness continues to pay political benefits.


Perhaps MP pay and benefits should be linked to the unpredictable performance of the free market or lowered to reflect the excellent employment prospects of former politicians. As well, Senators should be forced to at least recuse themselves from their private business affairs which can only be a major distraction from their public duties. That would truly test MP’s faith in our economic system. In any case, I’m sure MPs will choose the safety and comfort of the current publicly-subsidized remuneration policy. At the very least, retired or defeated MPs might reasonably be entitled to a pension based on a vastly higher contribution rate than they presently contribute. Their retirement income is a de facto gift from a public with little power to refuse.


Like professional athletes who use the flimsy excuse of a short career to justify their huge salaries; why is it assumed that unemployed MPs deserve superior treatment?  The notion of politics as public service seems to have been replaced by the mercenary idea of serving for the kind of generous pay, benefits and pension security that public servants can only dream of. Rather than trying to match public service pension schemes to the generally lower or non-existent private sector schemes; private sector critics might lobby their employers to either create or improve existing pension schemes. Well-paid employees have been proven to be more productive.


Morgan Duchesney:



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Topics: Governance
Tags: ottawa
430 words

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