MP Pensions: The 10 Most Expensive Retirement Plans In The House Of Commons (PHOTOS)

Mp Pension Canada Stephen Harper

First Posted: 01/19/12 02:20 PM ET Updated: 01/19/12 06:33 PM ET

UPDATE: The Prime Minister's Office contacted HuffPost Canada after this story was published to indicate that Stephen Harper has not bought back into the parliamentary pension program for the time he spent as a Reform Party MP between 1993-1997 and will not do so in the future.

To make a political statement, Harper opted out of the program during that time period. When he returned to Parliament Hill in 2002, the law had been changed to make contribution mandatory.

Harper could have paid his dues for the 1993 to 1997 period retroactively after returning to the House but, according the PMO, did not do so. MPs are not obligated by law to report this information.

The numbers for Harper in the slideshow below have been changed accordingly.

What would you do if you had a $3-million pension?

That's what these lucky members of Parliament will likely be asking when they retire.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released a comprehensive report Wednesday on the state of MP pensions.

In it they argue Canadians are being taken to the cleaners on a pension plan that sees MPs receive $23 from taxpayers for every $1 they contribute.

Oddly, some MPs would actually receive more lifetime pension income if they retire earlier. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy would receive an estimated lifetime pension income of $1,542,543 if she retires in 2019. If she retires earlier, at the end of her current term in 2015, that jumps by roughly $600,000 to $2,143,306.

Of course, Ablonczy would no longer be earning a salary, but if she moves on to a new position, an election loss would almost certainly put her financially ahead.

The CTF's federal director Gregory Thomas told HuffPost that the incentive to retire early is a "phenomenon that's affecting society on all sorts of levels. They leave in their early 50's when their pension entitlements max out and then they move down the road to another job."

Thomas urges the public to "encourage their parliamentarians to reform the pension plan and embrace this new pension arrangement that was introduced in the fall," referring to Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP).

And reform may become a necessity before long. According to a C.D. Howe Institute report released Thursday, the pension plan for MPs and senators is underfunded by as much as $1 billion.

The Institute suggests Parliament should move to increase MP salaries and reduce pension benefits.

Even if that happens, it seems unlikely that these MPs will have much to worry about come retirement.

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  • Top 10 Most Expensive MP Pensions

    Welcome to the $3 million club. The following 10 MPs will each receive an estimated total lifetime pension of more than $3 million if they retire in 2019. All the <a href="http://taxpayer.com/sites/default/files/CTFMP-PensionReport-WEB.pdf" target="_hplink">estimates come from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation</a> and are based on an MP retiring in 2019 and ceasing to receive their pension at age 80. The numbers if the MPs retire in 2015 are also included in the caption to each slide.

  • 10. Michael Chong - $3,124,903

    Conservative MP Michael Chong would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $2,684,816 if he were to retire in 2015.

  • 9. Peter Van Loan - $3,194,114

    Conservative MP Peter Van Loan would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $2,462,029 if he were to retire in 2015. (CP)

  • 8. Rona Ambrose - $3,330,876

    Conservative MP Rona Ambrose would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $2,429,149 if she were to retire in 2015. (CP)

  • 7. Rob Anders - $3,643,873

    Conservative MP Rob Anders would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $3,034,089 if he were to retire in 2015. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

  • 6. Denis Coderre - $3,701,989

    Liberal MP Denis Coderre would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $3,288,821 if he were to retire in 2015. (Graham Hughes/CP)

  • 5. Scott Brison - $3,723,666

    Liberal MP Scott Brison would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $3,113,881 if he were to retire in 2015.

  • 4. James Moore - $3,795,386

    Conservative MP James Moore would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $2,893,658 if he were to retire in 2015. (Althia Raj)

  • 3. Gerry Byrne - $3,996,498

    Liberal MP Gerry Byrne would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $3,450,711 if he were to retire in 2015.

  • 2. Jason Kenney - $4,318,507

    Conservative MP Jason Kenney would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $3,416,779 if he were to retire in 2015. (CP)

  • 1. Stephen Harper - $5,596,474

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $5,456,109 if he were to retire in 2015. Harper's numbers are based on the PM not buying back into the program for his service as a Reform Party MP between 1993-1997. In order to make a political statement, Harper did not contribute to the pension program during his time as a Reform MP. After returning to Parliament Hill in 2002, Harper could have retroactively contributed to the program for his service from 1993 to 1997. According to the PMO, Harper has not and will not make those contributions. MPs are not obligated to disclose this information. If Harper were to choose to buy back in for those years, his numbers would change. If he were to buy back in and retire in 2019 he would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $6,216,858 and $6,233,568 if he were to retire in 2015. His numbers also include the special allowance he will receive as Prime Minister. An earlier version of this story used the numbers based on Harper buying back in for the 1993 to 1997 period. After being contacted by the PMO with the prime minister's pledge not to do so, the numbers were updated. (CP)

Welcome to the $3-million club. The following 10 MPs will each receive an estimated total lifetime pension of more than $3 million if they retire in 2019.

All the estimates come from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and are based on an MP retiring in 2019 and ceasing to receive their pension at age 80.

10. Michael Chong - $3,124,903 (2015 = $2,684,816)
9. Peter Van Loan - $3,194,114 (2015 = $2,462,029)
8. Rona Ambrose - $3,330,876 (2015 = $2,429,149)
7. Rob Anders - $3,643,873 (2015 = $3,034,089)
6. Denis Coderre - $3,701,989 (2015 = $3,288,821)
5. Scott Brison - $3,723,666 (2015 = $3,113,881)
4. James Moore - $3,795,386 (2015 = $2,893,658)
3. Gerry Byrne - $3,996,498 (2015 = $3,450,711)
2. Jason Kenney - $4,318,507 (2015 = $3,416,779)
1. Stephen Harper - $5,596,474 (2015 = $5,456,109)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $5,456,109 if he were to retire in 2015.

Harper's numbers are based on the PM not buying back into the program for his service as a Reform Party MP between 1993-1997. In order to make a political statement, Harper did not contribute to the pension program during his time as a Reform MP.

After returning to Parliament Hill in 2002, Harper could have retroactively contributed to the program for his service from 1993 to 1997. According to the PMO, Harper has not and will not make those contributions. MPs are not obligated to disclose this information.

If Harper were to choose to buy back in for those years, his numbers would change. If he were to buy back in and retire in 2019 he would receive an estimated lifetime pension of $6,216,858 and $6,233,568 if he were to retire in 2015.

His numbers also include the special allowance he will receive as Prime Minister.

An earlier version of this story used the numbers based on Harper buying back in for the 1993 to 1997 period. After being contacted by the PMO with the prime minister's pledge not to do so, the numbers were updated. (CP)

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