Can members of Congress retire and receive their full pay after serving one term? We last wrote about congressional pensions in With a new Congress beginning and numerous members leaving office, we cancer causes and control word limit it was about time for an update on pension and health benefits for former members.
As we said seven years ago congressional retirement and health care plans, members of Congress do not receive their full pay as a pension upon leaving office.
The basic eligibility for collecting a pension is as follows, according to a June report from the Congressional retirement and health care plans Research Servicethe nonpartisan research arm of Congress:.
Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at the age of 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at congressional retirement and health care plans 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. That means that members of the House of Representatives — who are up for reelection every two years — would not be able to collect pensions of any amount if they only served one term.
Take Kay Hagan, the North Carolina senator who lost her bid for a second term, for example. Now, it is possible that a longtime member of Congress retiring with a starting pension near or equal to 80 percent of his or her final salary could — after many years of annual cost-of-living adjustments — see that pension rise to equal his or her final salary, congressional retirement and health care plans.
Tom Harkin is someone who comes to mind. His retirement pay would be almost 71 percent of his final salary. According to the Congressional Research Serviceas of Oct. The pensions of the former members who retired under the Federal Employees Retirement System, which began inaverage even less. Active members now must purchase a plan under the small-business health options program on the exchange in order to receive a government contribution toward their health coverage.
But going forward, congressional retirement and health care plans, congressional retirees, based on an October final rule issued by the Office of Personnel Management, will still be eligible to purchase insurance through the FEHB plan if they meet certain criteria. The criteria, according to CRSare eligibility for retirement from the federal government, and continuous enrollment in a health plan offered under FEHB or the exchanges for the five years of service immediately prior to retirement.
Enrollees and the government both pay for the insurance coverage. On average, the government pays 72 percent of the premiums for its workers, up to a maximum of 75 percent depending on the policy chosen. As federal retireesformer members of Congress would still be responsible for paying the same share of premiums as active federal employees. Pelosi, who has served in Congress sincewould receive her pension through the FERS plan, if she chose to participate.
The accrual rate for service under FERS is 1. Pelosi, who is already one of the wealthiest members of Congresswould be entitled to a generous pension whenever her congressional service ends. Mach, Annie and Ada S. Available Health Insurance Options. Some in Congress say no, but most cash in. Accessed 24 Dec That figure also includes payments for other types of settlements, congressional retirement and health care plans, as well as payments on behalf of employees other than members of Congress over a year period.
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