Calgary MP Rob Anders could collect a pension of nearly $100,000 if he leaves politics after his term ends.
The federal Conservative lost a nomination battle Saturday night to represent the party in the next election. Former Alberta cabinet minister Ron Liepert will be on the ballot for the new Signal Hill riding in 2015.
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The Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimates Anders will start receiving a pension of $95,546 beginning at age 55. That is based on his current pay and assuming Anders will remain as an MP until the election.
Anders, 42, currently makes $163,700 as an MP, according to the Parliament of Canada website.
"Certainly for someone who has never served in cabinet, it is a very lucrative pension," said federation director Gregory Thomas.
Represented Calgary West for 17 years
Anders has served as a member of parliament since 1997. He was re-elected in Calgary West in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011.
Anders may still try to secure the Conservative nomination in a different riding.
If the Conservative lives until the age of 90, he will have collected a pension of $4.8 million. The federation says that estimate takes into account a two per cent rate of inflation.
Pension reform will result in some changes in 2016 when MP contributions to their pensions will more than triple. According to the federation, last year taxpayers contributed $23 for every $1 that MPs paid to the pensions.
"It's a very rich pension and until 2016, politicians who are getting the pensions haven't paid for them," said Thomas.
Reform party had no-pension pledge
But Thomas wonders whether Anders will choose to receive the money.
Anders was first elected as a Reform party member in 1997. At the time, the party's platform included a pledge for its MPs not to accept a pension.
Former MPs Preston Manning, Lee Morrison and Werner Schmidt, who were elected in 1993, are believed to be the only three original Reformers who opted out of receiving a parliamentary pension.
"Rob Anders was elected on a promise not to take any pension at all," said Thomas.
Under the pension changes coming in 2016, MP contributions will go from $11,060 to $38,796 a year, according to the Treasury Board of Canada.
The retirement age will also rise from 55 to 65. Anders did not respond to requests for comment.