Calgary city councillors strike gold in retirement payouts, according to a taxpayer lobby group. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a report Wednesday that claims just one term in office qualifies politicians to collect $9,433 a year.
“So you don’t have to work very long on Calgary city council before you really start to get a lot of money in pension benefits and it’s really not fair for taxpayers,” said CTF Alberta Director Colin Craig.
The report says if a councillor lives to 85, they can expect $290,866 in benefits. CTF pointed to veteran councillors such as Ray Jones and Druh Farrell who are in line for over $1 million.
Craig also said Calgary is unique because the mayor actually qualifies for a second pension.
“We’re not aware of any other city that does that, and combined we estimate that the mayor will receive about 1.4 million in benefits if he serves on council until 2021,” he said.
Craig said Calgarians spent about $6.1 million on council pension plans from 2007 to 2016. The only councillor who will not be collecting payments in retirement is Jeremy Farkas, who refused the pension plan. Craig said councillors don’t need to go that far. He would like to see pension reform and recommended the City of Calgary look at Edmonton’s generous, but less costly model.