Sixty elected members of the federal government have now reported they have made the decision not to run in the upcoming next election!
It's a very high number compared to previous elections. Some of them tell us that it's for family reasons, others for their desire to serve their fellow citizens in other fields and many other great stories to make us cry for them.
Besides all the tear jerking that politicians have been giving about retiring here is something else to consider.
Coming at the end of 2015 a change in the pension for MP's ensures that the age of full retirement for an MP having served at least 6 years, will no longer be 55 years but 65 years. Thus any MP not yet 65 and who wants to benefit from the present pension scheme need only not run in the next election and thus will draw for 10 years longer a government pension of over $100,000/year.
For an elected MP approaching 55 and who is not running, that means about $1 million that he/she would not receive should he/she run and win again. One should also add the severance premium (between $80,000 and $125,000) upon his/her departure.
We understand better now all these sudden "family emergencies", appreciate the newfound desire to advance his/her career in a government job or a committee of some sort and have two or three salaries (and possibly two or three pensions).
Not bad as a justification to not run, eh?