Why retired politicians could soon get bigger pensions

Do you wish your pension would go up more? Well, if you’re a retired politician it soon could. That’s right,

Do you wish your pension would go up more?

Well, if you’re a retired politician it soon could.

That’s right, retired federal politicians could be given bigger pensions and free travel funded by taxpayers like you.

You might be wondering why?

It turns out, four former MPs have challenged the current pensions system in the High Court – which is due to make its decision on Wednesday.

Former Labor MPs Barry Cunningham, Tony Lamb and Barry Cohen and former Libel MP John Moore took their case to the High Court, claiming changes that slowed the growth of their retirement allowances and limited them to 10 free return flights per year were “an unlawful acquisition of their property by the Commonwealth”.

That’s the same defence used by the Kerrigan family in the famous Aussie comedy The Castle.

What happens if they win?


Well, the Canberra Times is reporting that the four former MPs and as many as 350 others including Bronwyn Bishop and 100 spouses will be given bigger pensions and unlimited free flights.

Such a decision would add millions of dollars to the $40 million taxpayers already pay each year for politician’s pensions.

If you want to know who and what you’re paying for, here’s a rough guide.

Most MPs who were elected to Parliament before 2004 are entitled to pension worth around $120,000 per year – regardless of how much they contributed to their own superannuation/pension fund.

Unless you’re Bronwyn Bishop of course, who as a retired Speaker gets around $255,000 per year.

In the current case before the High Court, the government is defending the challenge from the four former MPs.

The government is arguing pension payments do not fit the definition of property and the Parliament is within its rights to make changes to the pensions schemes.

“Each plaintiff has already received vastly more by way of retiring allowance than they contributed during their service in the Parliament,” the government submission to the court reads.

In fact, according to the government, Mr Lamb paid just $35,297 into his super account during his nine years in parliament BUT has been paid $1.3 million in pension benefits.

Politicians elected after 2004 can’t access the pension scheme, but are still claiming tens of millions of dollars of entitlements each year.

Remember when the government vowed to make changes after Bronwyn Bishops choppergate scandal?

Well, more than six months after the government said it accepted 36 recommendations made by an independent review, not a single one has been implemented.

If you’re angry about this, you’re not alone. More than 187,000 Australians have signed an online petition calling for the pensions scheme to be scrapped completely.

What do you think? Should we be paying pensions to former politicians?


  1. Gregory  

    No Pensions’ ongoing, no Gold Card travel rorts, no free air trave!

    ALL must cease upon retirement as an MP.

    This continuous ‘noses’ in the trough’ by pollies’ is just ‘legalized’ THEFT!

    No wonder there’s NO funds for our old age TRUE Pensioners’……………

    • Suzanne Cass  

      Just absolutely disgraceful. Most were sacked by their employers, the voters. Let them struggle like the rest of us have to. And they go on to get other paid jobs while still getting all this.

    • Brenda  

      You’re absolutely correct. But you know what….we can yell and complain but they won’t hear us. All politicians are in there for their final retirement benefits. They know the kind of benefit they’ll get when they leave their post. Not fair for us who retire after putting a lot of money in social security and then get paid hardly anything to live on comfortably. We the people hired them to do a job. Let them get the same amount like us to live on when they quit or get replaced by someone else. See if they’d like that….

  2. Deb Lancaster  

    Really!!!!! These people need to take care of themselves. If they can’t afford to fly on their own dollar with those pensions, there is something wrong. Give it a rest pollies, you can’t really expect the general public to take your complaints seriously.

  3. Karen Sawyer  

    I feel it is our politicians who are destroying our economy and if we continue to allow them to receive more and more benefits, retirement or otherwise then we deserve all ‘they’ get. Get real and get rid of these ridulous benfits! Lets make them live on what they expect the rest of Australia to live on.

  4. Deborah Joiner  

    Gregory has summed up the situation perfectly. The whole of the thinking public should get online and sign the petition otherwise this wrought will continue. How can our small population of tax paying residents pay for all these imposts. Not to mention the money being spent on illegal migrants, etc etc. Makes my blood boil and my liver curdle.

  5. Barb McCulloch  

    These people are just money hungry bludgers. Why should they receive all this pension when the legitimate pensioners have to fight for a few dollars every 6 months and no free air travel or other privilges .

  6. Julie  

    When will this stop !!!!!!
    Is there nothing we can do ????? The Australian Public is being held in contempt by these people who have no integrity or scruples, just an inflated ego and arrogance.

  7. John  

    This cannot be allowed to happen, what is happening to our beloved country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Horst  

    If they get their super paid how can they qualify for the pension as well? They should be treated just like everyone else. …a limited amount of free flights and travel allowance…thats it . If they are employed and earn an income above the standard allowance , no pension. They should also be means tested.

  9. For the pensioners who are going to have their pensions cut in Jan 2017 because they dared to have saved too much to their own super it is an insult

  10. Donna Phillips  

    Absolute blatant discrimination by disgusting greedy self serving pigs, against the hard working ordinary Australians who have worked and paid taxes all their life and put some away for retirement in superannuation only to be kicked in the guts by these same people and told they can’t get the measly old age pension because they have saved too much. Any wonder more and more people are voting for the likes of Pauline Hanson as the major parties and politicians are so out of touch with the average Australian and only concerned about themselves. This proves that.

    • Kate Elvin  

      This must stop it’s not like they are on a pittance.I cannot understand why politicians think they deserve any more than other working people when they retire did they have free flights prior to being a politician? I think not.To add insult they are not even doing a good job.

  11. lesley  

    I worked very hard to have money in my retirement. Now I am about to lose a lot of my pension because of that, but it seems we are giving it to those greedy politicians not the average people of the country

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