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$80,000 a year for dumped Humphries

Senator Gary Humphries in Parliament House.

Senator Gary Humphries in Parliament House. Photo: Andrew Meares

Dumped ACT Liberal Gary Humphries should be entitled to a lifelong pension of about $80,000 a year when he leaves the Senate in September.

Senator Humphries has been in Federal Parliament for 10 years.

He is facing involuntary retirement after being defeated by Zed Seselja in a preselection ballot at the weekend to be the Liberal Party's prime Senate candidate.

He says he remains angry about the process used to replace him for the Senate race.

But he will not contest any further preselection process.

Senator Humphries said on Monday he believed the result would have been different had many of his supporters not been denied a vote.

Mr Seselja said on Monday he would resign as a member of the Legislative Assembly before the ''election period'' begins for the federal poll in September.

He is expected to take a pay cut when he replaces Senator Humphries in Parliament.

As ACT Opposition Leader Mr Seselja earned about $213,000, a figure made up of the $125,259 base salary for MLAs and the Opposition Leader's allowance of $87,681.

He has already lost the allowance after resigning as Opposition Leader.

Senator Humphries was a member of the Legislative Assembly for 14 years, including as chief minister.

He entered the Senate in 2003 on a casual vacancy created by the resignation of long-serving Liberal senator Margaret Reid.

The Finance Department says the minimum pension rate for former federal members of Parliament is 50 per cent of the ''parliamentary allowance''.

Each additional year of service attracts an additional pension of 2.5 per cent.

The ''parliamentary allowance'' is the base salary less a portion as determined by the tribunal.

Parliamentarians who become entitled to a pension may convert half to a lump sum.

The base salary of a federal MP is $190,550 along with extra benefits including electorate and travel allowances, but the Remuneration Tribunal has determined that a portion - $39,770 - will not count for superannuation calculations.

''His/her notional salary for superannuation purposes is $150,780,'' it says.

Superannuation for parliamentarians is more generous than for other workers due to what political leaders say is the lack of security in their jobs.

Mr Seselja dismisses as a ''disaffected rump'' those forces within the Liberal Party that have launched

action that could lead to his preselection victory being overturned.

However, Senator Humphries, no longer on friendly terms with his former protege, said the preselection process was badly flawed. ''Flawed or not, the party has spoken and it's time for me to move on … .

''I was angry that I thought there were things very seriously wrong with the preselection process. On Saturday itself a large number of people arrived to vote, having been informed that they were preselectors, and were told without any warning that they weren't preselectors.

''People who'd been members of the party for accumulatively centuries - centuries of party membership was knocked back through that process. I don't understand why.''

Late on Monday Mr Seselja said federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had still not talked to him about his preselection win. He said he respected the federal Liberal leader's loyalty to Senator Humphries.

''He backed the guy on his team,'' Mr Seselja said. ''My entire parliamentary party backed me. We sometimes see these kind of things happening.

''In the end, the branch members have made a decision. I know that Tony will respect that.''

28 comments

  • "Superannuation for parliamentarians is more generous than for other workers due to what political leaders say is the lack of security in their jobs"

    Clearly our policitians have no idea what it is like in the real world. Because of their lack of leadership and sheer greed, none of our jobs are safe, but we dont get a bonus paid for by the taxpayer . .

    Commenter
    Glenn
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    February 26, 2013, 9:04AM
    • Here, here.......

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Date and time
      February 26, 2013, 9:49AM
  • Gary Humphries is beginning to look like Zoolander, always the same pose, same expression, same policies, same political strategies - boring.

    Commenter
    Iranian Space Monkey
    Date and time
    February 26, 2013, 9:38AM
    • ''His/her notional salary for superannuation purposes is $150,780,'' it says.......so that's $1.5 million for 10 years.....I have to work more than 31 years fort that at $47,000 per year......and I won't get an $80,000 a year pension....

      All I can tell you one thing.....these people are nothing special.....for the most part the only difference is what they wear to work....

      There are a lot of very unintelligent and incompetent people who creep through the cracks into parliament......

      I bust my arse to go backwards...........

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Date and time
      February 26, 2013, 9:57AM
      • Andrew, I hear you.

        Commenter
        MIKE the HAMMER
        Location
        ACT
        Date and time
        February 26, 2013, 11:08AM
      • I've heard this sort of comment before, and my response, as always, is to say that it is a democratic system (mostly) and that any individual has the opportunity to try for Parliament and its gravy train.

        Lots of hoops to jump through, mind, but in theory anyone can get there. So if you're jealous, give it a go.

        Commenter
        His Lordship
        Date and time
        February 26, 2013, 12:06PM
      • Well, I expect Mr Humphries at least knows that if you are advocating agreement with a statement or position then the correct expression is 'hear, hear'.

        Commenter
        Julia
        Date and time
        February 26, 2013, 3:02PM
    • I don't have an opinion on Humphries one way or the other - but let's not bother with any of his achievements in over 20 years in local and federal politics, no, instead let's just all have a massive whinge that he'll be overpaid in retirement.

      Alternatively, if it's such an sweet life being in politics then go out and get yourself elected. No, that may require hard work, whinging is easier.

      Commenter
      James
      Location
      CBR
      Date and time
      February 26, 2013, 10:07AM
      • James, I never said it was a sweet life, but for our politicians to get the outrageous pensions that they do long after they are not politicians is disgusting.

        Gary has been a politician for just 14 years. but that entitles him to a pension far above the rest of us FOR LIFE, AS WELL AS a superannuation payout, neither of which is asset tested, like us.

        You dont think that is outrageous??

        Commenter
        Glenn
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        February 26, 2013, 10:44AM
      • He was in ACT politics for 14 years, then 10 years federally. I don't think it's outrageous, no. Departing CEOs of major companies often get tens of millions for a far shorter tenure.

        Commenter
        James
        Location
        CBR
        Date and time
        February 26, 2013, 11:10AM

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