Three defeated Trudeau cabinet ministers miss out on pensions

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That’s how close three defeated Liberal cabinet ministers were to qualifying for lifetime pensions afforded to MPs with at least six years of service.

Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef (Peterborough-Kawartha,) Seniors Minister Deb Schulte (King-Vaughan) and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan (South Shore-St. Margarets) were all turfed by voters in their ridings on Monday.

Under the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act of 1985, all MPs are entitled to lifetime pensions upon reaching the age of 65 — with final values calculated as a percentage of their salary, which for entry-level MPs is $185,800 per year. That base salary goes up when MPs are paid extra for being cabinet ministers, parliamentary secretaries and committee chairs.

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But if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had called the election on Oct. 19, instead of Monday, the three former cabinet ministers would have found themselves entitled to the lifetime golden handshake, averaging between $71,000 to $74,000 annually after the age of 65.

  1. Maryam Monsef, the federal Minister of Rural Economic Development.

    Liberal Monsef ousted in southern Ontario upset

  2. Canada's Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland attends a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, April 19, 2021.

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  3. Omar Khan, from left, Kate Harrison and Peggy Nash.

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While they miss out on pensions, defeated MPs are entitled to severance — a lump-sum payment equalling half of their annual salary.

Based on an MP’s base salary, plus minister top-ups — all three cabinet ministers earned $274,500 a year — Monsef, Schulte and Jordan are entitled to at least $137,250 in severance — not accounting for bonuses earned by committee chair positions.

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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