Council must follow committee recommendation and end Mayor’s second pension

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2020/10/30

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Calgary city council to accept the Council Compensation Review Committee’s recommendation and end the mayor’s second pension.

“Putting an end to the mayor’s second pension is a no-brainer given the years of hardship in Calgary and council must follow through with this recommendation,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director. “Calgarians have been struggling with job losses and pay cuts, so there’s no doubt that putting an end to they mayor’s second pension is the right thing to do.”

The Council Compensation Review Committee recommended council “discontinue credited service in the Supplementary Pension Plan.” Mayor Naheed Nenshi is the only council member eligible to receive the second Supplementary Pension Plan. The committee’s recommendations will be presented to council at Monday’s council meeting.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation discovered that Calgary is the only major Canadian city whose mayor is eligible to receive two pensions.

The mayor’s second pension is completely funded by taxpayers. Taxpayers contributed $329,177 towards this benefit while mayors contributed $0 towards the supplementary pension between 2008 and 2016, according to a freedom of information request obtained by the CTF.

The mayor’s second pension is in addition to council’s defined benefit pension plan. From 2007-2016, the City of Calgary spent more on its city council’s pension benefits than Edmonton, Ottawa and Vancouver combined.

About 80 per cent of Albertans working outside of government do not have a workplace pension plan.

“While it seems obvious that council will scrap the mayor’s second pension, it’s baffling that Mayor Nenshi hasn’t given up his second pension already,” said Terrazzano. “Council should expect a massive backlash from taxpayers if they don’t vote to end this golden perk.”