No, a retired Canadian prime minister is not paid $450,000 for life


For the 2018-2019 parliamentary session, all members of the House of Commons, the lower chamber of the Canadian parliament, receive a sessional allowance of Can$175,600 before taxes, as the parliament website shows.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives an additional Can$175,600, for a total salary of Can$351,200. The Speaker of the House, Geoff Reagan, is entitled to an additional Can$84,000, which makes his total salary $259,600. Salaries were subject to change on April 1, 2019.

Canada’s parliament does not have the Majority or Minority Leader title as is found in the US Congress. However, if by the majority leader, the post refers to the party’s leader with a majority of seats in the House of Commons, then that is Prime Minister Trudeau. If minority leader means Leader of the Official Opposition, a position held by the Conservative Party’s Andrew Scheer, then the additional salary would be Can$84,000, bringing Scheer’s total salary to Cad$259,000. The chart below provides a detailed list of the salaries for leadership roles in the House of Commons. The full salary list can be viewed here.

Canadian primeCanadians and politicians have taken issue with and worked to reform the parliamentary pension plan, but it is misleading to say retired politicians receive a full salary for life. Heather Bradley, director of communications for the House of Commons, told AFP that no member is granted a salary for life in an email. Still, they are eligible for pensions regulated under the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act. Members of the House of Commons are entitled to full pensions at age 65 or a reduced pension starting at age 55. A prime minister who served for four or more years is entitled to a special retirement allowance starting at age 67, in addition to their pension as a member of parliament. The allowance is calculated using the formula explained below.

Since January 1, 2013, members of parliament have gradually contributed more of their salaries to the pension fund, according to this Canadian government website. Contributions reached a combined rate of 19.52 percent of pay as of January 1, 2019. Soldiers and pensioners According to the Department of National Defence, basic pay for an officer cadet in the Canadian army starts at Can$1,667 a month, which is just above Can$20,000 a year. At the top of the Army’s hierarchy, a lieutenant-general’s salary starts at Can$20,683 per month or $248,196 per year.