The posh pensions federal politicians have been collecting for years could soon become a little less lucrative.
Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore indicated his government is prepared to bring forward pension reform this fall.
Though he didn't offer specific details, he suggested reforms would include changing the formula by which MPs and taxpayers contribute to the politicians' pensions.
Currently, taxpayers pay $24 for every $1 MPs contribute to their pension - a ratio Moore suggested is too generous compared to what everyday Canadians are getting.
"We didn't promise to do any of this, but we do think it is simply the right thing to do given the fiscal pressures in the country," he told The NOW.
Moore also noted the federal government has already made several changes to MP pensions, including changing the time when MPs can begin drawing a pension to 55. Previously, they could begin collecting it five years after leaving office.
MPs have been maligned for their pensions, most notably by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).
The organization has repeatedly called for pension reform, and recently launched a billboard campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
As part of its campaign, the CTF has calculated the pensions of MPs.
The CTF calculated Moore, 36, would collect $89,881 in his first year of eligibility if he retired in 2015.
The federation based its numbers on a formula that includes each MP living until the age of 80, their years of service and two-per-cent inflation.
If Moore sticks around until 2019, he would draw $117,890 in his first year. Over a lifetime, Moore's pension would add up to $3.8 million.
It's the largest pension of all of B.C.'s MPs.
At this point, New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly won't cash in quite as well as Moore.
According to the CTF, if Donnelly were to retire in 2015, he wouldn't draw a pension since he's served less than the six years necessary to qualify.
However, he would get $78,000 in severance.
If he were to stay until 2019, he would receive a firstyear pension of $47,000, and a lifetime pension worth $1.5 million.
Jordan Bateman, the B.C. director of the CTF, said the ratio in the pension formula is too high, especially since the government is keen on reforming public sector pensions.
"These guys want to reform old age security, they want to take a harder line on public sector pensions - to do that they need the moral authority of fixing their own pension plans first," he said.
"It's almost immoral to criticize someone else's pen-sion."
The CTF said it would support a dollar for dollar pension formula.
Moore said his government wants to bring the pension ratio close to that dollar for dollar mark.
When asked whether the current pension for MPs was fair, he suggested it's in the "eye of the beholder," and argued if society wants to attract people into public service, politicians need to have compensation.
"We want to attract good people into public life, the pension system has to keep that in mind. But on the other hand, there's a question of fairness that things can be drawn back to make them more proportionate between what the MP is contributing to the system and what the taxpayers contribute to the system," Moore said.
Though the CTF believes the pension formula is a big concern for the voting public, Moore said he's received few calls from constituents related to the issue.
Donnelly did not return calls to The NOW prior to press deadline.
© Copyright 2013