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I have received the following e-mail. Apparently it has been...

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Question by Ginny
Submitted on 11/24/2003
Related FAQ: Government Information on the Internet (1/4, Gumprecht)
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I have received the following e-mail. Apparently it has been around the net for a couple of years. I'm trying to verify whether it is correct and if it is where I can find the facts to back it up.


(This is worth reading. It is short and to the point.)

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years.

Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own

benefit plan.

In more recent years, no congress person has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

For all practical purposes their plan works like this:

When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die.

Except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments.

For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.

This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries.

Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age, will receive much more during the rest of their lives.

Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.00. NADA....ZILCH....

This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds;


From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into, -every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer)- we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement.

Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.

That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

How many people can YOU send it to???

Answer by Linda
Submitted on 12/21/2003
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This is untrue.  The average congressional retirement pay is about $56K for those on CSRS (the pension system they pay into) and about $46K for those on FERS (a 401K plan) and social security.  


Answer by meiamone
Submitted on 1/20/2004
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As far as Social Security goes, all members of Congress have Social Security taxes withheld from their salaries at the same rate as all taxpayers. Members of Congress can collect Social Security benefits, and their benefits are calculated the same way as everyone else's.
As far as retirement benefits are concerned, Members of Congress who were elected after January 1, 1984 participate in same retirement plan as all other federal employees -- the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). There is an older benefit plan, the old Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), which has been phased out.

The retirement benefit for all Members is based on is the same methodology as used for any other federal employee, a percentage of the average of their three highest consecutive salaries times years of service. However, Members of Congress and Congressional employees are treated as a "special group," a category also given to firefighters, law enforcement officials, and air traffic controllers. While all the "special people" receive a higher basic benefit (1.7% - vs. 1% for all other federal employees), all the "special group" people - including Members of Congress - also contribute more from their payroll checks to help pay for the additional benefit.

To see the explanation for how Members of Congress are treated as a special group from the Office of Personnel Management's retirement handbook, go to http://www.opm.gov/fers_election/ri_90/f_seg.htm#congress


Answer by nick
Submitted on 5/13/2006
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Question...does a politician, such as a Senator or Congressman received a pension from each political job he held...such as first state representative,second  governor, and then U.S. Senator?


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