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Transitional Support for Former Members of Parliament: Benchmarks for ‘Professional Parliaments’

Version 2 2024-06-03, 00:54
Version 1 2023-09-26, 04:22
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 00:54 authored by Peter FergusonPeter Ferguson, Amy NetheryAmy Nethery, Zim NwokoraZim Nwokora
Abstract Leaving parliament is often a time of significant financial, employment and emotional difficulty for MPs. However, few studies have examined the support provided by parliaments to departing and former members. Consequently, parliaments lack access to best-practice case studies to improve the transitional experience for MPs. This article develops five benchmarks for supporting former MPs, covering transitional financial assistance; retirement income; career, financial, life transitions and redundancy counselling; mental health and medical services; and social and networking opportunities. These benchmarks are used to assess the support provided to former members by 22 selected ‘professional parliaments’. Although most of these parliaments offer adequate retirement income, none currently provide sufficient transitional financial assistance for MPs who depart before pensionable age. In all cases, improvements are also required to mental health and other counselling services. Most parliaments provide adequate social and networking opportunities. Implementing and extending these measures will improve the transitional experience of former MPs and enhance democratic rotation by reducing impediments to high-quality candidates from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds from seeking political office, while easing the exit of MPs who are ready to leave.

History

Journal

Parliamentary Affairs

Pagination

1-24

Location

Oxford, Eng.

ISSN

0031-2290

eISSN

1460-2482

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

Oxford University Press

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