Federal Politician Salaries – Higher Than You Think

When I ponder about politician salaries, I tend to think very middle of the road, middle class type wages.  However, this is not the case as disclosed by a recent issue of MoneySense Magazine.  It appears that even newly elected federal MPs garner a six figure salary which doesn’t include the reduced term gold plated defined benefit pension that they are offered.  Their salaries are very generous and perhaps a slight conflict of interest when they can vote themselves a pay raise.

Here are some of the salaries of politicians at a federal level (via MoneySense) not including travel, housing, office allowances:

  1. Backbench Member of Parliament (MP): $157,731
  2. MP with odd job appointments (ie. caucus chair, commitee chairman etc): $163,415 – $196,910
  3. Leader of Federal Party: $211,425
  4. Junior Cabinet Minister (ie. ministers/secretaries of state): $214,368
  5. Senior Cabinet Minister/Opposition Leader/Speaker of the House: $233,247 + car allowances
  6. Prime Minister: $315,462 + large house budget + car allowances

As I mentioned before, the salaries indicated above do not include perhaps the most lucrative defined benefit pension available in Canada.  Typically, a government worker (non political) needs to serve around 30 years before they qualify for the maximum benefits under a DBP.  Not members of parliament however, they can start receiving a very generous pension after a short term which is then adjusted for inflation every year.  Here are the stats from the MoneySense article:

To qualify for a pension, you have to serve as a member of Parliament for a mere six years.  A backbencher with six years on the job who retired at the end of this year would receive an annual pension of $27,213 once he or she turns 55…

… If the MP sticks around for another four years, his or her pension hits $43,355 a year.

… For you and me to receive and equivalent payout in retirement we would have to put $80,000 into our RRSPs each year for 10 years.

..The average MP who is eligible to collect a parliamentary pension takes in a very comfortable $49,985 a year.  In fact, there are 70 ex-MPs who collect more than $70,000 a year.

Looks like a career in federal politics can be fairly lucrative!  What are your thoughts?  It seems that if you include the lucrative pension and other benefits that MPs are offered, they are paid in the same salary range as Doctors!

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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Pete T.
7 years ago

I think that most of the commenters have it right.

Rick James
8 years ago

You know what makes me mad, it’s not what they earn, it’s not even their pensions, It is the fact that they can give themselves a raise, and we’ve heard it happen a couple times, on top of that when ever shit hits the fan money wise, it’s taken out on public workers, like teachers for instance, and don’t get me wrong, I can remember way back in the 90’s when Mike Harris effectively cut welfare in half, so a single person went from getting like a grand to about 5 hundred, which has both good and bad reactions obviously, But at the same time they also cut the amount that a person on Disability get’s also, which was fine also, but I believe they cut both back to much, for one thing an adult who let’s say has lost their job or something and has to go to welfare for a little while, well I’ll tell you what, that adult has pretty much lost their whole life, an adult on welfare is expected to live for one month on 520 dollars, that’s a single adult, jesus you can’t even rent a room at a rooming place in my town for less than 400 dollars, that leaves that person with 100 dollars for that month, if they’re lucky, 25 dollars a week for groceries and what ever else they will need, soap, toilet paper, what have you, If you are lucky enough to have a family member rent you a room for the 320 dollars a month welfare will give you for rent each month, you gotta keep quiet about it because if they find out you live with family they might just cut your cheque in half, dont get me wrong here, I don’t agree with people just being on welfare because they don’t want to work, but how about when you Can’t work? well ODSP, (ontario disability) is only slightly better, a single person on disability get’s about 900 a month, which will get you a room sure, or you can try and find a cheap one room apartment, for 700 a month, maybe more, and the one thing that pisses me off more than most, is when the government votes to give themselves a raise, it’s alway’s a decent number, but for someone on disability they may get a raise once every couple of years, and I shit you not, that raise is 1% per month, so you might get 9 bucks extra, I’m not saying people on welfare should live high on the hog, but I am saying that the PM and MP’s shouldn’t be giving themselves a nice little raise while the people at the bottom get SHIT, I think this stuff should go from the bottom to the top, let the poor have a little more for christ sake, most people on welfare dont want to be on welfare, and I can tell you that people on Disability, would rather be working and making a decent wage, I’m not saying let’s make them rich but I am saying let’s at least make them comfortable somewhat

8 years ago

Pay them more to kick these darn minorities out of Canada. Don’t need them unless your a liberal.

9 years ago

The thing that upsets me is that they can collect a pension at 55 with as little as 6 years, and I can’t even get the money I paid into my own CPP from them when I need it. I’m about to lose everything I’ve worked all my life for, and the government could care less… red tape, fill this out, fill that out, it takes months; well by then I’ll be homeless.
If that happened to one of them, they would certainly fix it in a hurry…
Does anyone know of a politician that ended up homeless?

9 years ago

@mike: I’m reminded of that Eric Idle joke: “There is almost no advantage in this country in being rich. It’s amazing that anybody still prefers it.”

9 years ago

I wonder what would happen if all of the taxpayers were to quit their jobs and apply for welfare ?

joe taxpayer
10 years ago

The basic problem with politics is using the same system for over a hundred years. It’s outdated and we can have a far more democratic country if we redesign power distribution. The fight over power is just the “snowball” thats been building for years. George Washinton said that politcal parties will be the fall of democracy. Thats what we are seeing now. This the only outcome when less than 0.01% of our people make all the rules for everyone else. It’s too easy to make a grab for power. I am a Canadian small business owner who will never vote in another election that means nothing. People who believe that casting a vote once or twice a year makes them equal with the lords of the manor are diluting themselves. They are sheep. If Canada is ever to be truly free we must all be equal in reality not just on paper or at election time. I am a grad of computer programming and I know for a fact it would be possible to have the first true democracy. It would just take designing hand-held PDA’s to give every person their own vote on every social issue. I say every social issue because obviously financial issues can not be decided by voting, the average Canadian wouldn’t be quafied to make those types of decisions. So keep the politians, just redefine their role in Canadian politics. You have the power to restore Canada to a democracy free of these whinny little babies and their need to be on top of the pile. If their on the top, guess who they are standing on. If you truly want a Canada we can be proud of you’ll put an end to this, and the only way to do that is to make us all equal for the first time in history. If things stay the same I denouce the government of Canada as my government and my family will never partisipate in any election to keep the masses queit. I am tired of paying for their lifestyles with nothing in return. I love Canada like my grandparents taught me to, I hate people who tell us what we need and how much we owe for it. Please make them work for us not us working for them. Anyone else tired of this? This is the first time we have the tech. to give us all a voice. Thinking about it the possibilities for Canada is excitng. If nothing changes to make us eqaul Canadians I’m telling everyone to vote “none of the above” to the Canadian dictatorship (government).
Here are just a couple of blogs I pulled off the internet about our over paid government. This first one is in response to the riots in Toronto during the multi billion dollar party. (G20):

The police are the group incharge. They tell us what we can and can’t do and if you don’t listen they declare you unlawful and arrest you. Does anyone think it is proper that they can just change the laws to suit their needs? If you do, you are either a realitive of a cop or your part of the cattle, moooo. During their training police are taught to TAKE CONTROL of any situation. I know I’m diluted but I thought that people who work for us should be under our control. (and not make 2-5 times more than us, but mostly thats the politians of the government.) I lived in Calgary a few years ago and my roommates daughter had accidentally dialed 911. I called them back and told them it was a mistake but they had to send a car anyway, which I understand. When the cop arrived he walked right in, and with his hand on his gun the whole time he began to question myself and my roommate who confirmed the mistake. He then asked if there was anyone else in the house, I said my 7 year old was home from school, sick in bed. The cop said “do you mind if I talk to her”, I said yes because she’s sick and sleeping. Now the cop didn’t have control of the situation so his atitude changed and he unclipped his gun holster and said ” I don’t need your permission, that was just being polite”. He commanded me to walk in front of him to my daughters room where he went in and woke her up. Dazed and confused she confirmed what I said and the part I love is my seven year old daughter told him to get out of her room before she pukes on him. After 30mins of his crap and commandments I said “all of this over a mistake that any monkey could have seen in five minutes, please get the **** out of my house”. The cop said “how would you like to be arrested” I said “for what” he said “it’s a long way to the station, Ill think of something”. I said “do you know your a public servant and you work for me.” He said “this is my country, I tell YOU what, where and when, You just live here.”Democracy in Canada died for me that day. Since then my parents, grand parents, friends, just about everyone has simular stories. Combine those stories with the complete ignorance and over payment of politicians and we have a country that doesn’t even vote.(unless its to stop the HST) In Toronto, it was my story times ten thousand. First we need politians with their salaries based on the canadian national average. This will eliminate the money grubers, then we need to get rid of the power mongers, police and politians alike.(not all of them just the power mongers). Then we will have for the first time in Canada – A DEMOCRACY. Till then we are all sheep and cattle who better do what we are told or the government will send the police to arrest us or taser us 13sec after they arrive like at the Vancouver airport. At least China tells you they are a dictaorship, Canada is a dictatorship cloaked as a democracy.

The next blog is from someone looking to be involved but doesn’t see the point.:

The liberals do what they want how they want to do it, then say its what we want.The NDP are going to raise the min. wage which means in a time when its the hardest for small businesses they are going to have to lay-off 10%-20% of their employees.Both are a case of spoon fed people who have never lived the same type of lives as the rest of us. They do not understand our low to middle income lives. The green party is the opposite, no money, no experience. The conservatives are a little of each depending on which of us they are trying to pander to, at a self premium everytime.

It took me less than a minute to find these and there are literally thousands more. I want people in politics who want to make change not money. I won’t be voting until someone says that he/she will base their salary on the the canadian national average or provincial average for provincial elections. This way we will get the right people in charge and if they want more money they can enable us to make more money.

P.S. I have sent a detailed plan to give us all a vote on social issues to every party and none have responded which is a shame because they all claim to want to make canada the best country in the world but none are willing to give us back any power to do it. We could demand it but that would require a level of co-operation like never before and the politicians know it. They aren’t scared, they know as long as they give us a choice between them the sheep and cattle are going to fall in line. But every election less and less people choose to go to the slaughter house (vote). Someday there will be someone who is willing to say “I’m only going to make as much as the people I represent, I dare my running mates to do the same”. That will be the person that can give us the first democracy in Canada.

10 years ago

The salaries are a joke. I don’t want my province or country run by people who are doing it for money. Greed should have no place in politics. We need people who are doing it for the right reasons because that’s their passion. They want to see a good development that benefits everyone. Right now it’s at the point where you don’t even know what greedy liar to vote for because non of them care about you or your future anyways. Why we tolerate it as a society? I have no idea. We need a change though. The whole planet does.

10 years ago

Yes they get paid far too much and those who think that this is to get the “right” people in place that would be a failed statement in logic. If you want people who care about making money and living nice fatcat lives sure done. The right people who should be in place aren’t those people the people who just want to make Canada better help people and the environment should be in place most of those people would do the job for way less espcially considering the expense accounts in place for poloticians. Lawyers, CEO, Realestate moguls these are the people in place they are not there for Canada or you look at thier jobs they are there for them and to make money. This attacts the wrong kind of people.

10 years ago

Trevor, give me a break! Give me a job in politics any day, I will work at it a for a couple years making 250k a year, do a couple billion dollar oopsies and take a walk with a 2+ million dollar severance. Now thats a great lifestyle choice! And if I make it to 4 years I make 45k a year in pension! Working hard! LOL. I only make about 90 a year right now, and I can tell ya, I work waaaaay less that I did making half that. You know and I know, when you start making good money, you forget about how easily it comes. I used to work 80+ hours a week to scrounge up 50k, now my arse gets sore from sitting on it making almost double. Rough times. Has everyone forgotten about expense accounts, car allowances, travel allowances, kickbacks, etc? Might as well give the waitress $60/hour and forget about what they make on the side. You can take an elects salary and probably triple it when it comes down to the nitty gritty, so YES THEY MAKE WAY TOO MUCH! Last time I checked I had to pay my own gas to get to work.