Stephen Conroy at the announcement of the national broadband network rollout at Goodna.
Stephen Conroy at the announcement of the national broadband network rollout at Goodna. Inga Williams

Pollie's massive $200,000 a year pension

FOR the past 20 years Stephen Conroy has worked as an Australian Senator and now that he's retired his pension is large enough to allow him to never work again.

Because Conroy was elected in 1996 he immediately qualifies to receive 75% of his salary upon retirement each year.

The payments fall under the controversial Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme, which was repealed by the Howard Government in 2004. 

As a Senator his annual salary upon exiting was a tidy $199,040 and 75% of that is $149,280. 

However this is only the start.

Under the old Parliamentary pension scheme politicians who held a position as a Minister, or the chair of a committee during their time in Canberra and who received a pay increase as a result of the promotion get a boost to their pension. 

The 53-year-old was the man in charge of Labor's NBN rollout during the Rudd/Gillard years, holding the position of Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy from December 2007 until July 2013.

His position as a cabinet minister entitles him to a bonus pension payment, which in Conroy's case is worth about $52,248 a year. 

As a consequence, from today Conroy will start earning a pension of about $201,528 a year - give or take a few thousand dollars. 

Retiring politicians are also entitled to taxpayer funded travel. 

As Conroy completed more than 20 years of service in April this year he will be entitled to 25 domestic return trips each year. 

Had he retired a few months ahead of the election, instead of running again, he would not have qualified for this added bonus.  

Mr Conroy's office was contacted to confirm this amount and offered the opportunity to comment but did not reply. 

The Federal Department of Finance refused to release the precise details of the former Senator's entitlements. 

"Due to privacy considerations, we do not provide information on individual superannuation benefits for current or former parliamentarians," a spokesman said.