CTF Takes Wraps off Billboards in Five Cities Aimed at MP Pension Reform

Delay must not turn into avoid: CTF turns up heat before Parliament returns this Fall to implement promised changes

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) launched a new billboard campaign today aimed at ensuring Canadians from coast-to-coast know just how lopsided the current MP pension scheme really is.

Billboards sporting the message “For every $1 an MP puts into their pension, taxpayers put in $24” were put up today in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Ottawa and Halifax.

“It’s time to fix these outrageous platinum-plated pension plans for our federal politicians,” said CTF Federal Director Gregory Thomas. “Taxpayers are fed up with footing the bill for pensions that are among the most lavish in Canada.”

The goal of the billboard campaign is to get Canadians to take action this summer and put pressure on their MPs, opposition leaders and the prime minister before they come out with their MP pension reform plan this fall. Canadians are encouraged to text “TAX” to 212121, so they can sign the CTF’s petition, e-mail the Prime Minister and learn more about the MP pension plan.

“We know the government is planning to modify the MP pension plan this fall, and we want to make sure it’s a full-blown overhaul and not just a minor tinker,” continued Thomas. “If they go from the current $24 from taxpayers for every $1 from an MP ratio, down to $18 to $1 or $12 to $1, that’s simply not going to cut it.”

The CTF is calling on MPs to shut down the current MP pension scheme and join a new $1 for $1 matching RRSP-style pension plan. Further, the CTF would like to see a “Lavigne rule” put in place to ensure parliamentarians convicted of offences relating to their office are barred from collecting parliamentary pension benefits.

“Perhaps the most offensive part of the entire MP pension scheme is that the money both MPs and taxpayers put into the pension accounts, isn’t actually invested,” explained Thomas. “By cabinet order, the MP pension accounts are given a 10.4 per cent annual ‘interest’ courtesy of taxpayers. There are more than a few retirees who would love that deal.”

In 2010-11 MPs and Senators contributed a combined $4.5 million to the parliamentary pension accounts, while taxpayers contributed $110.7 million ($26.7 million in contributions and $84 million in ‘interest’ and actuarial adjustments).

To see photos of the billboards, you can view them here: http://taxpayer.com/sites/default/files/Ottawa%20Billboard.jpg and here: http://taxpayer.com/sites/default/files/Halifax%20billboard.JPG

To view the final artwork for the billboards, you can see it here: http://taxpayer.com/sites/default/files/downloadable/M7627_Billboard_ART.PDF

To read the Report on the Administration of the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act for the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2011, here is the link: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/reports-rapports/mpraa-larp/2011/mpraa-larp-eng.pdf

To read the CTF’s MP pension report from January 2012 including estimated pension calculations for all sitting MPs, here is the link: http://taxpayer.com/sites/default/files/CTFMP-PensionReport-WEB.pdf