Members of Parliament who have decided not to run for re-election this fall will cash in a cumulative $1.6 million in severance payments, and millions more will likely be paid out after the election.
Thirty-nine sitting MPs have declared they won’t run again in the next election, of whom 18 are eligible for severance payments totalling an estimated $1,618,850, according to an analysis by The Canadian Press.
Members who have served for more than six years but are under 55 years of age, and thus not immediately eligible for pensions, will have that pension deferred and can take severance pay at a rate similar to their rookie colleagues.
The amount of money set to be paid out to retiring MPs is just a first wave. The total is set to skyrocket after the election, when MPs who lose their races and are not eligible for pensions will also get golden handshakes.
There are 24 cabinet ministers (out of 35 total members, counting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) who are rookie MPs elected in 2015 and will be eligible for $132,200 in severance pay if they are defeated in the fall.