MEMBER for Orange Russell Turner will walk away from politics with a pension of about $85,634 a year for life.
Mr Turner, who will not contest the March 2011 state election after 14 years in Parliament, will benefit from a generous superannuation scheme available to MPs elected prior to 2007.
They are entitled to a pension equivalent to 48.8 per cent of their base salary, provided they’ve served seven years as an MP.
Mr Turner’s base salary is $130,540.
He denied his post-politics pension was too generous.
He said the payments would go some way to offset the “poor pay of politicians”.
“All of this media obsession with what we get paid is certainly a disincentive to people becoming an MP in the first place,” he said.
“In many cases, the super that we get doesn’t even replace what our potential lost earnings are prior to going into politics.
“There are many people that have foregone much greater salaries to become an MP.
“I had a farm before I was elected and I’ve been behind financially as an MP compared to when I was in my own business.
“It’s not generous at all.
“Maybe a good super package at the end helps make up for the poor salary.”
A politician’s pension rises 0.2 per cent for every month served beyond the initial seven years.
By the time he retires in March 2011, Mr Turner will have served roughly 84 months longer than the minimum seven-year period.
That means Mr Turner will receive about $85,634 a year for life, assuming a pension of 65.6 per cent of his base salary.
He has the option of taking his superannuation as a lump sump payout, 10 times the annual pension, which would be in the order of close to $850,000.
The Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Fund is one of the most generous in the state.
Members contribute 12.5 per cent to the fund.
It was closed to new members in 2007 following a voter backlash.
In addition to a $130,540 base salary, backbenchers are entitled to $208,061 in other travel, electorate and communication allowances.