Lead by example

Members of Parliament should be leading by example when it comes to pension reform

Last week the federal Conservative decided to move the eligibiltiy to receive Old Age Security (OAS) from 65 to 67 years.

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), it works out to about $6,000 savings for the federal government’s coffers.

Immediately, seniors advocacy groups screamed bloody blue murder about what this loss of revenue will mean for the seniors who are living in poverty already, as well as those who will join them in the next decade or so.

It’s not going to be any better for the folks who are currently between 25 and 54 years old, as a Harris Decima report forecasts 32 per cent of that group will be relying on OAS, and the Canadian Pension Plan (CCP) as their primary source of retirement income.

It becomes obvious that, as the baby boomers retire, there is going to be a tremendous stress on the OAS and CPP payouts.

However, it is these same people who have worked hard all their lives and contributed significantly because they were told the system would give them security in their old age.

Now, they are being forced to sacrifice even more because they have wait longer to dip into the OAS because some fat cats in Ottawa decided it had to be done for the long-term sustainability of the system.

They are unhappy and what sticks in their craws is the fact there was no mention in the budget about clawing back the MPs’ gold-plated pensions.

This is the pension plan we contribute more than $23 for every dollar an MP puts into the Parliamentary Pension Plan.

According to the CTF, we paid $102 million towards this handsome retirement plan for the MPs and Senators, while they contributed $4.4 million.

Apparently, the MPs figure this is reasonable for all of the hard work they do representing us in Ottawa – or is that the other way around?

So while they look at sustaining OAS by nipping Canadians for up to $500 a month, a recently defeated MP with seven years of service is raking in more than $2,700 a month from his pension plan.

The CTF states Mr. Harper’s annual pension if he retires at the end of this term, would be $223,000 a year.

Maybe these MPs need to start leading by example, and if not, we need to send them packing.


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