Congressional Pensions

So what kind of deal does Congress get when it comes to retirement. I wish it was the same as the rest of us, then perhaps we could expect a certain amount of diligence when it comes to benefits. But I havecongress heard people refer to unlimited lifetime pensions and a rapacious attitude when it comes to the treatment retiring members of congress have voted themselves. I am happy to report dear readers that it is not as bad as it seems. Although, I must admit, I find the figures overly generous. They are not as absurd as many believe. A full pension is available to any Congressman with 5 years of service. This in itself is not unusual. Most larger companies offer pensions to workers after 5 or 10 years, but an early retirement means 62 years old regardless of the length of a person ’s service with the company. By contrast, Congress members may retire after 25 years of service regardless of age. If they are elected at 30 and serve 25 years they can retire at 55. If they leave Congress but continue tohand_cash work they may receive a deferred pension. Unlike Social Security benefit amounts, Congressmen receive as much as 80% of salary upon retirement. Now here is the insult. This is all in addition to their Social Security benefits. There are about 400 former members and their spouses now actually drawing pensions. The average draw these fine former public servants take is $48,762, remember that ’s in addition to SS benefits and whatever else they managed to cart away from Washington. As usual, consult the source before you jump to conclusions. If you wish to obtain more detailed information concerning pension benefits for congress, use the same report I did. “Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress”, Congressional Research Service. [CRS Report RL30631, July 31, 2000]. CRS reports are free by requesting them through a Member of Congress. Just, tell them you are thinking about applying for the job.



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