Congress Medical

Congress Medical

To collect on retirement, there is a minimum requirement of 5 years and the age of 62 to collect full pension. That is only for the money that they had paid into retirement during that time. As of 2007 a law was created that if there is early retirement for fraud and things of that nature, Congress member will not receive retirement.

Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)

Act (P.L. 66-215) established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. Coverage under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) was extended to Congress in January 1942 by P.L. 77-411. That law was repealed just two months later in response to adverse public opinion.

In 1946, (P.L. 79-601) again extended CSRS coverage to Congress, at the option of Members, with higher contributions and greater benefits than those applicable to regular federal employees. In reference to that legislation, Senate Report 79-1400 (May 31, 1946) stated that a retirement plan for Congress: would contribute to independence of thought and action, [be] an inducement for retirement for those of retiring age or with other infirmities, [and] bring into the legislative service a larger number of younger Members with fresh energy and new viewpoints concerning the economic, social, and political problems of the Nation.

The Social Security Amendments of 1983 (P.L. 98-21) required all federal employees hired in 1984 or later to participate in Social Security. These amendments also required all Members of Congress to participate in Social Security as of January 1, 1984, regardless of when they first entered Congress. The Civil Service Retirement System, having been established in 1920, predated passage of the Social Security Act by 15 years. Requiring federal workers to participate in both CSRS and Social Security would have duplicated some benefits and would have resulted in employee payroll deductions for the two programs that in 2005 would exceed 13% of pay.

Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS)

After mandating Social Security coverage of new federal employees beginning in 1984, Congress directed the development of a new retirement plan for federal workers with Social Security coverage as its foundation. The result of this effort was the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-335). The Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) went into effect in 1987, and employees first hired in 1984 or later were automatically enrolled in this plan. Employees who had been in the federal government before 1984 were given the option to remain in CSRS - without Social Security coverage or to switch to FERS.

The options for Members of Congress differed from those available to other federal employees, because the 1983 amendments required all Members of Congress to participate in Social Security. Members first elected in 1984 or later were given the option to enroll in FERS as well as being covered by Social Security, or to be covered only by Social Security. Members who had been in Congress before 1984 could elect to stay in CSRS in addition to being covered by Social Security; to elect CRS-2

Under the "Offset Plan",payroll deductions go partly to Social Security and partly to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. In retirement, the individual’s CSRS pension is reduced (“offset”) by the amount of his or her Social Security benefit. Coverage under an “offset plan” that integrates CSRS and Social Security; to elect coverage under FERS in addition to being covered by Social Security; or to be covered only by Social Security.

CSRS and FERS Comparison Data

Because of the uncertain tenure of congressional service, FERS was designed, as CSRS had been, to provide a larger benefit for each year of service to Members of Congress and congressional staff than to most other federal employees. Members of Congress also become eligible for retirement annuities under CSRS and FERS at an earlier age and with fewer years of service than most other federal employees. However, Members of Congress and congressional staff pay a higher percentage of salary for their retirement benefits than do most other federal employees. As of October 1, 2002, 411 retired Members of Congress were receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service.

Of this number, 340 had retired under CSRS and 71 had retired either with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Members who had retired under CSRS had completed, on average, 20 years of federal service. Their average annual CSRS annuity in 2002 was $55,788. Those who had retired under FERS had completed, on average, 18.7 years of federal service. Their average retirement annuity in 2002(not including Social Security) was $41,856. The average age of retired Members of Congress receiving retirement annuities in 2002 was 77 for those who had retired under CSRS and 69.2 for those who had retired under FERS.

Retirement Plans Available to Members of Congress

For more information on Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress and Background on Congressional Pensions you can word search it.