Taxpayers will give Oda a $701K pension

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) estimates retired International Development Minister Bev Oda’s annual parliamentary

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) estimates retired International Development Minister Bev Oda’s annual parliamentary pension will instantly start at $52,183, adding up to $701,464 by the time she reaches the age of 80.

“Bev Oda’s lifetime pension should cover about 43,841 glasses of $16 orange juice,” said CTF national research director Derek Fildebrandt.

“It’s wrong that she can collect $52,183 in annual pension benefits after only eight years on the job,” said CTF’s federal director Gregory Thomas.

“Especially when the average new Canada Pension Plan monthly payment in 2012 is $534.10.”

The parliamentary pension fund is in better shape to cover platinum-plated pensions such as Oda’s, having just been topped up on June 30 with the quarterly deposit of another $23 million taxpayer dollars into the parliamentary pension plan.

Under regulations adopted by cabinet, instead of investing pension funds into the market, MPs simply pay themselves interest at the end of every quarter at a compounded annual rate of 10.4 per cent. The fund has grown by $69 million in the past 12 months and now tops $950 million.

“By charging taxpayers 10.4 per cent interest on their pension plan, MPs retirement savings continue to outperform just about every other pension plan in the country,” said Thomas.

For the year ending 2009-10, taxpayers contributed $102.6 million to the MP pension fund, while parliamentarians chipped in $4.4 million, a $23.30 to $1 ratio.

In 2010-11, taxpayers contributed $110.7 million, while parliamentarians chipped in $4.5 million, a $24.36 to $1 ratio. And the CTF estimates that taxpayers contributed $25.81 to the parliamentary pension plan in 2011-12 for each $1 that federal politicians contributed.

“If Canadian’s don’t speak up this summer, MP pension reform will consist of little more than putting lipstick on a pig,” continued Thomas. “The prime minister must take real action and truly fix these outrageous pensions.”