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Pensions for outgoing MLAs to cost British Columbians $27 million, says Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Outgoing MLAs' payout

Pensions for MLAs defeated in the provincial election or who retired and did not seek re-election will cost B.C. taxpayers 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 mail-in ballots after Saturday’s vote, the CTF calculated the pensions of the nine MLAs who lost their seats in the legislature.

The pensions are calculated by taking MLA's highest earning years, years of service and whether they were a cabinet minister or held any other positions. Annual payments are capped at 70 per cent of their highest earning year.

For every $1 the politicians contribute, taxpayers pay $4, the CTF notes.

“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, 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 – plus they get up to $9,000 if they need retraining.

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, B.C. 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 B.C. Liberal Cabinet Minister – estimated $109,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
  • Linda Reid, former B.C. Liberal Speaker – estimated $107,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
  • John Yap, former B.C. 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, B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $46,000 per year, $400,000 lifetime.
  • Linda Larson – B.C. Liberal MLA - estimated $29,000 per year, $469,000 lifetime.


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