Pension reform underway

Your government in Ottawa is committed to keeping taxes low, returning to balanced budgets and respecting taxpayers’ dollars.

Your government in Ottawa is committed to keeping taxes low, returning to balanced budgets and respecting taxpayers’ dollars.

Proof of this commitment is Bill C-46, introduced in Parliament last week. C-46 will amend MP, senator and public servant pensions(C-45). The changes will save taxpayers $2.6 billion over the next five years.  We also eliminated severance payments that will save $500 million per year once fully implemented.

One of the key policy changes in Bill C-46 that will save taxpayer dollars is the age at which MPs, senators and newly hired public servants will begin collecting their pensions. Once passed this will increase to 65 years of age.  By 2016, all MPs, senators and public servants will pay a 50 per cent contribution to their pension.  Currently, public servants pay only 34 per cent into their pension premium and taxpayers pay 66 per cent.  MP and senator pension contribution ratios are even more generous. The new calculation will see an increase in MP contributions from $11,000 per year to around $38,000 per year.

Our Prime Minister has generously given up an even larger portion of his pension. Prime Ministers are paid the base rate received by all MPs, namely $157,000, plus another $157,000 for the prime ministerial position. The pension for prime ministers is calculated the same as MP pensions on the base amount.  However, with the additional $157,000, the pension benefit is 60 per cent or $104,000 per year, plus the pension on the base amount. This is changing so that the additional $157,000 will be reduced to around $47,000 or close to $60,000 less per year.  The Prime Minister is going to make this change retroactively, so the savings will be $420,000 to taxpayers.

I have had many complaints concerning pensions in the past; however it is our government that is actually making changes.  Cabinet expenses are down 16 per cent over the last year and use of the government aircraft is down 30 per cent since the previous government was in office.  My MP budget has a 30 per cent savings over the annual allocation.

Our Harper government has moved Parliament from a place of “we are entitled to our entitlements” to one of “we are responsible to the taxpayers,” I am proud of this accomplishment.

-Colin Mayes is the Member of Parliament for the Okanagan-Shuswap riding.

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