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:
- Backbench Member of Parliament (MP): $157,731
- MP with odd job appointments (ie. caucus chair, commitee chairman etc): $163,415 – $196,910
- Leader of Federal Party: $211,425
- Junior Cabinet Minister (ie. ministers/secretaries of state): $214,368
- Senior Cabinet Minister/Opposition Leader/Speaker of the House: $233,247 + car allowances
- 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!