We have respect for the work of AIMS and have referred to their reports, such as the Municipal report card, several times over the years in our posts. AIMS has thoughts concerning NS MLA pensions and here is an excerpt on this subject, with some links, from their online newsletter, The Beacon.
AIMS Director of Research recommends eliminating MLA pensions
The culture of entitlement surrounding MLA pensions in Nova Scotia – and other provinces – has been a key focus for AIMS in recent weeks.
AIMS Director of Research Don McIver is recommending the elimination of MLA pensions in Nova Scotia , or at least, replacing them with fixed-contribution plans or an RRSP allowance. AIMS issued a press release on the topic and generated important discussion in the province. AIMS ’ recommendations were mentioned in the Chronicle Herald as well as on News 95.7.
In addition, McIver wrote an op-ed entitled MLA Platinum Pensions: Till the end of time?, which appeared in the Chronicle Herald. In this commentary, McIver McIver says the panel should have looked beyond the narrow mandate of pensions alone, and considered the total remuneration of members, including their per diems and perks. “They should have taken note of the level of responsibility—recognizing our small population—as well as our ability to pay,” says McIver. On average, Nova Scotians receive significantly lower incomes than in wealthier provinces. “If we receive Nova Scotia wages, so should our legislators.”
The current MLA pension plan entitles members with as little as five years service, including those who are retiring or defeated, to collect a pension as early as age 45. A government minister with just 15 years service could draw more than $100,000 each year for the rest of his or her life. If they are still serving at age 71 they could collect that pension while receiving their paycheque.
Most Nova Scotians do not have a pension plan.
“In a world of gold-plated public pension plans,” says McIver, “ Nova Scotia ’s Member’s Plan is diamond studded.” …
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We are still irked by Wolfville CAO’s diamond studded retirement paid for by the largely unaware resident taxpayers.