10/31/2012 01:53 EDT | Updated 12/31/2012 05:12 EST

Dalton McGuinty Severance Package: Ontario Premier Defends $300,000 Pay Day For Quitting

TORONTO - Dalton McGuinty says the $300,000-severance pay he will receive after stepping down as Ontario premier is a much better deal for taxpayers than the gold plated pensions MPPs used to receive.

Whether they quit or lose in an election, members of the legislature are entitled to six months' pay for less than four years service, one year's pay for four to eight years on the job, and 18 months' pay for those who sit even longer than that.

McGuinty says he would have gotten at least ten times more under the old MPP pension plans that were scrapped by former Conservative premier Mike Harris.

The premier says if he were to live another 25 years, the old system would have given him a $70,000-a-year pension - or a total payout of $3.7 million.

Other prominent Liberals who've announced they won't run again, including Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and Energy Minister Chris Bentley, will get severance payments of almost $250,000.

McGuinty notes all three parties approved replacing the old pension plan with severance payments.

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