How many pension plans do you get?
The majority of Canadians have only the Canada Pension Plan and it is incumbent on them to save and invest on their own if they want a comfortable retirement.
Roughly 40% of Canadians have a workplace pension plan. Those plans vary in contribution requirements and how much (if any) contribution matching is done by the employer.
Only a tiny tiny fraction of people get to enjoy the massive pension benefits that Calgary city council members get.
On top of the incredibly generous taxpayer funded pension plan, Naheed Nenshi gets a second pension plan on top of that which is 100% taxpayer funded. Not only is Nenshi one of the highest paid mayors in Canada, he appears to be the only one who gets not one but two pensions.
While Naheed Nenshi may be thick in many ways his skin remains paper thin. Particularly when somebody dares question his golden pension plan. In a classic Nenshi temper tantrum he dismissed concerns raised about his pension plan as being “showboating”.
Councilor Jeromy Farkas is the usual target of Nenshi’s ire as Farkas has dared yet again to challenge the compensation cow which is Calgary City council. It is rather difficult to accuse Farkas of “showboating” when he has led by example in declining his own bloated taxpayer backed pension plan which could conceivably be worth over million dollars if he were to stay in office long enough. Jeromy has put his money where his mouth is.
His Worship however is rather well renowned for his showboating ways.
The gravy train is generous for the Mayor and council and Nenshi clearly never likes to pass up on gravy. Look at the chart below to see how much taxpayers kick in on top of the councilor contributions to their pension plan. Working folks can’t dare dream of a pension plan so generous but they get to pay for it with their ever increasing taxes in the city of Calgary.
On average, city councilors put in $1 into their pensions for every $5 that taxpayers do. Pretty sweet. Taxpayers in Calgary paid out $6.1 million in city council pension benefits over 10 years for 15 council members. Bear in mind that Mayor Nenshi likes to constantly remind us that there is utterly no room for spending cuts in city hall.
In making well over $200,000 per year plus many many benefits and a massive city councilor pension plan, lets never forget that Mayor Nenshi is getting a second pension on top of all that which is 100% funded by the taxpayers.
It takes some kind of gall to take such a gross compensation from taxpayers while commoners remain mired in a recession and then to dismiss concerns about it as showboating.
Parasites rarely concern themselves with the welfare of their hosts however.
Nenshi and some other councilors try to dodge on this issue by claiming that they are bound to follow the recommendations of the volunteer committee who puts forth recommendations on council compensation.
That dodge is nothing less than a big steaming pile of bullshit and it is rather easy to prove it wrong.
There is indeed a volunteer committee that makes recommendations on compensation. City council is under no obligation to follow those recommendations however and they can and will reject them at will.
This op-ed by Peter Bowal is well worth the read. He was enraged at 2017 when after putting in countless hours as a committee volunteer, city council essentially dismissed the recommendations of the committee to reduce compensation for city council. The committee is essentially a sham and is used to mask a self-serving and overpaid council and he felt rightly rather used.
The committee that Mr. Bowal chaired did some great research and this graphic from them shows excellently how council and mayoral compensation in Calgary measures up against other cities.
Rather stark graphic for Calgarians to see while they languish with record unemployment and constant city tax increases. No wonder His Worship gets his panties in a knot so quickly when somebody dares illustrate just how badly he and city council are milking taxpayers.
The buck stops with the mayor and city council. Despite their attempts to pretend that the responsibility lies with others, it is clear that they have full authority over their personal compensation both in salary and pensions and they are taking full advantage of that.
The bloat is repugnant when common people are tightening their belts. It has to stop.
Calling this out is not “showboating” by any means. It is being responsible and principled. Two words concepts utterly lost on Calgary’s Mayor and many council members.
They are laughing their way to the bank.