Op/Ed – MLA Pensions Will Cost Taxpayers more than $27M including one or more CHWK MLA’s

Vancouver – (Kris Sims – BC Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation) The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has calculated the pensions of the incumbent MLAs who were defeated in the provincial election. When combined with the MLAs who are retiring, the total lifetime pension payout amount is estimated to cost more than $27 million.

“While we wish these defeated politicians well as they chart a new career course, taxpayers need to know the cost of these pensions,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “These pensions simply aren’t affordable for taxpayers. Premier John Horgan needs to reform the MLA pension plan.”

Pending the count of the mail-in ballots after Saturday’s provincial election, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has calculated the pensions of the nine MLAs who were defeated and lost their seats in the legislature.

MLA pensions are calculated by taking the highest earning years of the MLAs and factoring in their years of work. The annual pension payments are capped at 70 per cent of the highest earning year.

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 returning to the legislature 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 were defeated:

Joan Isaacs, MLA – ineligible due to less than six years in office.

Jas Johal, MLA – ineligible due to less than six years in office.

Mary Polak, Former Cabinet Minister – estimated $80,000 per year and $1.9 million lifetime.

Sam Sullivan, Former Cabinet Minister – estimated $28,000 per year and $680,000 lifetime.

Laurie Throness, MLA – estimated $28,000 per year and $702,000 lifetime.

John Martin, MLA – estimated $28,000 per year and $695,000 lifetime.

Jane Thornthwaite, MLA – estimated $45,000 per year and $1.1 million lifetime.

Marvin Hunt, MLA – estimated $27,000 per year and $511,000 lifetime.

Jordan Sturdy, MLA – estimated $28,000 per year and $702,000 lifetime.

Estimated pension totals for MLAs who are retiring:

Tracy Redies, MLA – ineligible due to less than six years in office.

Claire Trevena, Cabinet Minister – estimated $87,000 per year and $2.1 million lifetime.

Shane Simpson, Cabinet Minister – estimated $87,000 per year and $2.1 million lifetime.

Scott Fraser, Cabinet Minister – estimated $87,000 per year and $2.1 million lifetime.

Carole James, Cabinet Minister – estimated $87,000 per year and $2.1 million lifetime.

Michelle Mungall, Cabinet Minister – estimated $64,000 per year and $1.5 million lifetime.

Judy Darcy, Cabinet Minister – estimated $40,000 per year and $700,000 lifetime.

Doug Donaldson, Cabinet Minister – estimated $64,000 per year and $1.5 million lifetime.

Rich Coleman, Former Cabinet Minister – estimated $101,000 per year and $2.4 million lifetime.

Linda Reid, Former Speaker – estimated $108,000 per year and $2.6 million lifetime.

John Yap, Former Cabinet Minister – estimated $67,000 per year and $1.6 million lifetime.

Darryl Plecas, Speaker – estimated $40,000 per year and $760,000 lifetime.

Andrew Weaver, Former Green Party Leader – estimated $34,000 per year and $826,000 lifetime.

Donna Barnett, MLA – estimated $41,000 per year and $358,000 lifetime.

Linda Larson, MLA – estimated $26,000 per year and $338,000 lifetime.

Ralph Sultan, Former Cabinet Minister – estimated $84,000 per year.

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