Pension arrangements for politicians have long been controversial, but at least in the case of members of Parliament, they’ve begun footing an equal share of the bill.

In fact, pension contribution rates by federal politicians have more than doubled in the last five years, according to the latest actuarial report on the pension plan for federal MPs.

At seven per cent in 2012, the rates have steadily increased, with the largest jump taking place last year when MP contributions rose to 15.79 per cent of their pay from 10 per cent in 2015.

As of this year, MPs and the government have begun sharing the current costs of the plan equally, according to the report. MPs are now contributing 19.48 per cent, a number the actuarial report projects will rise to 19.7 per cent in 2020.

Read: MPs and cabinet forced to reimburse pension overpayment

Unlike most pension plans, the fund doesn’t rely on investments. The only way the plan can boost its coffers, outside of the government and MP contributions, is through the interest the accounts pay themselves. In 2017, the effective quarterly rate is 0.47 per cent.

The fund includes two accounts: the members of Parliament retiring allowances account and the members of Parliament retirement compensation arrangements account. For 2016, the retiring allowances account had a shortfall of $39 million at a current value of $502.3 million. The retirement compensation arrangements account had an excess of $113.9 million at a value of $248.6 million. The two accounts must remain separate, so the funding status of one has no bearing on the other.

The pension benefit itself consists of three per cent of the highest average of annual earnings over any consecutive five-year period, times the number of years of service and up to a maximum of 75 per cent of average annual pensionable earnings. The pension is payable as of age 65, but retired MPs can claim a reduced amount as of 55.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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See all comments Recent Comments


I wish I could (as a small business owner) have these same perks and have someone else pay a large portion for me. Maybe Bill and Justin could review these plans instead of attacking small business owners and professionals Maybe a DC plan is fairer for all them too

Friday, November 10 at 11:27 am | Reply


Becoming an MP demands sacrifice and hard work.
Just like a small business owner.
It’s just the MP gets a much higher base salary for the first years on the job, and doesn’t have to mortgage their house to start the job.

Friday, November 10 at 12:10 pm | Reply

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