AIMS Director of Research recommends eliminating MLA pensions

Halifax: The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies’ Director of Research, Don McIver, is recommending the elimination of MLA pensions or, at least, replacing them with fixed- contribution plans or an RRSP allowance.

In November, a Nova Scotia government panel is set to deliver their review of MLA pensions. In an AIMS commentary on MLA entitlements, titled Till the End of Time, McIver says the panel should have looked beyond this narrow mandate 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.”

McIver’s commentary on the subject says a comprehensive assessment of how we compensate our MLAs is urgently needed. “The panel should consider recommending the elimination of Members’ pensions entirely,” says McIver. “They contrast sharply with the retirement circumstances that the majority of taxpayers face.”

Click here to read Till the End of Time


For more information, please contact:

Don McIver 

Director of Research 

Atlantic Institute for Market Studies 

[email protected] 

902.429.1143 ext. 226

Charles Cirtwill

President and CEO

Atlantic Institute for Market Studies 

[email protected] 

902.429.1143 ext. 225