View Full Version : Veteran Issues Salaries and Retirement Benefits of U.S. Presidents & Congress

01-22-03, 06:51 AM
We have to keep fighting for Veteran issues... better VA Claim service, Concurrent Receipt, SBP, DIC, health care, etc... but

Hardly a day goes by that I don't get at least 5 messages about congress pay, Bush, Clinton, virus, etc.... most are false, and can be found on hoax & urban legends web sites... before your forward a virus email, etc, check it out at

www.vmyths.com or www.snopes2.com

Congress & Fed employees do pay into soc sec


Below are the facts on Retirement benefits for Congress & President... they don't automatically get $15.000 per month for life after 1 term... But their retirement is very good... better than anyone else's... unless you are a corp CEO. Now if they would pass a few goodies on to us.. like concurrent receipt & health care, etc.



Although Clinton and Gore could receive the biggest lifetime pensions in federal history (in part due to their relatively young age at retirement), NTU believes that the current yearly pension champion would be Gerald Ford, whose Presidential and Congressional pensions will be worth a combined $267,000 in 2001. Ironically, until the Presidential salary was doubled this year to $400,000, Ford was receiving more money for being retired than Bill Clinton was receiving for being on active duty.

But there are more pension millionaires in the making. A single term for George W. Bush could bring an immediate estimated yearly pension of $184,900, and a lifetime windfall of $6.6 million, if he reaches the actuarial life expectancy for a man of his age.

"Because of the lavish retirement perk, Congress and the White House have opened pension millionaire clubs on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue," Keating concluded. "While the average taxpayer retires with a fixed income, former lawmakers and Presidents can retire with fat payoffs that consume more tax dollars every year."

Congressional pensions are typically two to three times more generous than those in the private sector and even more generous than pensions for most federal workers. Plus, the Congressional benefit is protected from inflation with Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), a feature that fewer than 1 in 10 private plans offer. Also, Members of Congress enjoy a much lower retirement age with full benefits than private sector employees, Social Security beneficiaries, and most Executive Branch employees.

Congressional retirement benefits are normally calculated by multiplying the years of Member service by 2.5 percent of the average of the three highest years' salaries. Adjustments are made for other federal service, Members with spouses, or those who retire before age 60.

The Members paid up to eight percent of their salaries into the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), which includes the Congressional retirement system. But this pays for just a small portion of the benefits (about 20 percent), says NTU. Many Members have chosen the CSRS Offset Plan, in which pension contributions and benefits will be offset by Social Security taxes and benefits. If a Member has not chosen the Offset Plan, the estimate would be higher in order to include Social Security payments.

NTU computes the pension benefit estimates based on public records concerning length of federal service, age at the time of retirement, life expectancy based on standard mortality tables used by the life insurance industry, and COLAs estimated at four percent a year, the same estimate used by federal pension actuaries. It is possible, though unlikely, that Al Gore has declined coverage in the Congressional retirement system since participation is voluntary.

NTU is a non-profit, nonpartisan citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, less wasteful spending, and accountable government at all levels. Note: Detailed pension calculation charts for Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and past Presidents are available upon request. (Click for graph)

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For lawmakers who were elected before 1984, the pension formula upon retirement is the average of the three highest years' salaries, multiplied by years of Congressional, federal, and active duty military service, multiplied by 2.5 percent. The first year's benefit may not exceed 80 percent of final salary (but subsequent Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) can boost the figure well past 80 percent). The retirement age can be as early as age 50, depending upon years of service. This plan is part of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) that covers many other rank-and-file federal civilian workers.

For lawmakers elected in 1984 and thereafter, the formula is generally the same as above, except that the accrual rate is 1.7 percent instead of 2.5 percent, and after the first 20 years of service, the rate falls to 1.0 percent. Also, there is no "80 percent of final salary rule" for these Members (lawmakers under the old CSRS also had the option of converting to this plan). This plan is part of the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS), and along with CSRS, enrolls millions of government employees and their dependents (there is an optional spousal annuity).

Nonetheless, there are key differences in the way lawmakers' benefits are calculated versus other government personnel. Members of Congress under CSRS have a generous accrual rate of 2.5 percent for all years served, while most workers in the Executive Branch get a sliding rate of between 1.5 and 2.0 percent. For FERS, Members get a 1.7 percent initial rate, versus 1.1 percent or 1.0 percent for most rank-and-file federal employees. Also, lawmakers with longer careers in Congress can generally collect pension benefits at a far earlier age than their counterparts with similar service elsewhere in the government.

In both cases, Members of Congress do contribute to their pension plans, although the rates are somewhat complicated by the fact that since 1984, all lawmakers have been required to pay into Social Security. Members elected before 1984 have usually paid 8 percent of their salaries into the pension plan, but some may have elected a "Social Security offset" provision that allows them to split part of the pay-in (6.2 percent for Social Security and 1.8 percent for the pension.) The result is that upon retirement, Members receive a pension that is reduced by the amount of Social Security that is attributable to Congressional service.

Members elected in 1984 and thereafter have generally paid 1.3 percent towards the pension and 6.2 percent to Social Security. For Congress overall, these contributions only cover roughly 20 percent of the actual average lifetime pension payout.

All Members of Congress are eligible to participate in a "Thrift Savings Plan," a supplemental retirement contribution plan that works much like a private sector 401 (k) arrangement. However, only those first elected in 1984 and thereafter are entitled to receive a very generous government match -- up to 5 percent of salary, if the Member contributes a like amount.

The end results of these formulas -- huge pension windfalls for lucky lawmakers -- have been the subject of thousands of print, radio, and television media features since National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) began publicizing them. In 1988, NTUF announced that for the first time, the Congressional pension system had delivered a million dollars each to three retired Members -- Ben Reifel (R-SD), Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME), and Al Gore, Sr. (D-TN).3

Today, a sitting lawmaker who retires at age 60 with 15 or 20 years of service will likely collect at least a million dollars in inflation-compensated lifetime pension benefits. Some will collect four or even five times that amount. In 1997 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that 400 lawmakers were receiving pensions, at an average benefit of just under $47,000.4 Based on a subsidy rate of 80 percent, this would amount to an annual taxpayer cost of approximately $15 million.

But how do these benefits compare

----- Original Message -----
From: AD
To: veteranissues-owner@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 2:47 PM
Subject: We must harp also on this;

This must be brought up again and again;

a. After serving just ONE TERM in congress congressmen get $15,000 per month for (life) and they deny career veterans serving (20 tears) with a disability from 10% on up concurrent receipt and expect them to pay for their 'disability pay' out of their EARNED RETIREMENT of 20 or more years.

b. A long term congressman like Byrd and their wives can expect to draw $7,800,000. 00 and their wives drawing $275,000 / yr. during their last years.


01-22-03, 06:52 AM
c. Their cost? $0.00! They voted this for themselves, we pick up the tab and the disgraced clinton forced vets over 65 into Medicare and if they saved and invested wisely and made more than $44,000 in adjusted gross income he and his congress forced an 85% tax on their EARNED SOC. SEC.Ret. from which we can expect just over $1000 If they would put themselves into the Soc. Sec system we'd see some action at reform 1! Plus you would never see it TAXED! And these are the guys and gals that love to use the term "FAIRNESS." Hypocrites all .......we pay into our own and congress 'plays with it'
Then there is our SBP in which we chose to bring a certain amount of independence to our spouses. We original signers on long term payers have been paying into this for years. Congress also plays with this stating that I 2008 we can stop paying into it....of course they are betting that by that time we long term original payers will be no more anyway, but their own retirement are still golden. And they recently voted themselves a raise and of course they get their COLA also they see to that.
c. The real blow was the 85% Re Tax on what was a tax in the first place. But look who pushed for that ..the Arkansas money grubber himself.
Hypocrites all..
......................Over & Out



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