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Tony Abbott scores $300,000 pension

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers an address at the 2016 Liberal federal election campaign launch. Image: Getty
Tony Abbott. Image: Getty

Former Prime Minister and member for Warringah, Tony Abbott lost his seat on Saturday to Independent Zali Steggall, but if there’s one thing to assuage the spectacular defeat, it would be the hefty pension Abbott will now receive.

The former leader of the Coalition will receive a parliamentary pension of nearly $300,000 - an income significantly higher than the $207,000 he was receiving as an MP.

Abbott is part of a group of politicians elected prior to 2004 who are eligible for the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme (PCSS), and as Abbott has been in power for more than 25 years, he will receive a payment of 75 per cent of his base wage, plus a loading for his official roles.

The total sum: $295,720 a year, freelance researcher William Summers revealed.

And if Abbott wanted to, he could claim $1.48 million of that sum now if he chooses to.

“His income will be far higher as an ex-MP, even before you factor in any directorships, ambassadorial positions or Sky News roles he may or may not be offered, or the free travel and office allowance he will get as an ex-prime minister,” Summers said on his blog.

“And remember, because parliamentary pensions rise each year in line with the pay of sitting MPs, this is not $296,000 “each year”, it is merely $296,000 this year (2018/19).”

That means that as of 1 July, Abbott will score an increase to his pension, pushing it to above $300,000.

Former Coalition ministers Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop will also receive substantial pensions after announcing plans to depart politics this year.

These politicians will receive between $188,000 and $220,000 a year as part of their package.

Labor MP Wayne Swan is eligible for a similar package, as is Tanya Plibersek, although she has not announced plans to retire from politics.

According to a recent Department of Finance report, ‘Taxpayers face bill of up to $1b to fund MPs’ retirements’, this scheme cost taxpayers $902.5 million in 2017, before hitting $908.0 million in 2018, and will reach $912.9 million in 2019.

The average retiree with superannuation receives an income of $40,000 a year.

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