Can Congressmen Retire After Just One Year?
Really? A Member of Congress can retire after just 1 year and get full benefits?
As a matter of fact, the answer is no. Like most Americans, Members of Congress must work for decades and contribute to their pension plan before they can receive full retirement benefits.
The facts: Like all federal employees, Members of Congress are required by law to participate in Social Security. Similarly, Members of Congress, like all federal employees, also have the option of participating in a pension plan: the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) if they were first elected prior to 1987 or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for everyone else.
Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. They are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80 percent of his or her final salary.
Congressional pensions are funded the same way as those of other federal employees: through a combination of general tax provisions and contributions from the participants. Members of Congress in the FERS plan must pay 1.3% of their salary to FERS and 6.2% in Social Security taxes.
Read a report that provides more detail on retirement benefits for members of Congress.
A real example of the story as it has been circulated on the Web:
So that any who don’t, may know.
Our Senators and Congressmen don’t pay in to Social Security, and, of course, they don’t collect from it.
The reason is that they have a special retirement plan that they voted for themselves many years ago. For all practical purposes, it works like this:
When they retire, they continue to draw their same pay, until they die, except that it may be increased from time to time, by cost of living adjustments.
For instance, former Senator Bradley, and his wife, may be expected to draw $7,900,000, with Mrs. Bradley drawing $275,000 during the last year of her life. This is calculated on an average life span for each.
This would be well and good, except that they paid nothing in on any kind of retirement, and neither does any other Senator or Congressman.
This fine retirement comes right out of the General Fund: our tax money. While we who pay for it all, draw an average of $1000/month from Social Security.
Imagine for a moment that you could structure a retirement plan so desirable that people would have extra deducted so that they could increase their own personal retirement income. A retirement plan that works so well, that Railroad employees, Postal Workers, and others who aren’t in it, would clamor to get in.
That is how good Social Security could be, if only one small change were made. That change is to jerk the Golden Fleece retirement out from under the Senators and Congressmen, and put them in Social Security with the rest of us. Then watch how fast they fix it.
If enough people receive this, maybe one or some of them along the way, might be able to help. How many can YOU send it to?