Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions

This report contains a table that lists the number of retired Members of Congress and the average amount of congressional pension they receive in retirement.

Order Code 94-740 Updated January 13, 2004 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions Patrick J. Purcell Specialist in Social Legislation Domestic Social Policy Division Summary http://wikileaks.org/wiki/CRS-94-740 This report lists the number of retired Members of Congress and the average amount of congressional pension they receive in retirement. It is updated annually. Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions (as of October 1, 2002) Average annual pensionb Average years of creditable servicec Average aged Average contributionse Members/former Members with annuity beginning in FY2002 Under CSRSf . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Under FERSg . . . . . . . . . . . 3 $35,544 $17,592 13.7 12.9 63.9 58.7 $36,547 $26,116 Members/former Members with annuity beginning in FY2001 Under CSRSf . . . . . . . . . . 13 Under FERSg . . . . . . . . . . 18 $71,112 $31,500 24.3 15.8 68.2 64.1 $113,168 $ 29,048 All retired Members (as of 10/1/2002) Under CSRSf . . . . . . . . . 340 Under FERSg . . . . . . . . . . 71 $55,788 $41,856 20.0 18.7 77.0 69.2 $60,186 $34,341 Number of membersa Source: U.S. Office of Personnel Management. a Data include only former Members currently receiving congressional pensions. For Members retiring in 2001, amount shown is 2001 pension. For all others, amount is 2002 pension. c Creditable service includes congressional, active duty military, and other federal civilian service. d For newly retired Members, average age at retirement; for all retired Members, average age on 10/1/02. e Total lifetime contributions the Member paid into the retirement system, including payments to both CSRS and FERS for Members who switched from CSRS to FERS. f CSRS is the Civil Service Retirement System. Congress enacted the CSRS for executive branch employees in 1920 and extended it to Members of Congress in 1946. The CSRS was closed to new participants as of January 1, 1984, when P.L. 98-21 required Social Security coverage for all Members of Congress and new federal workers first hired on or after that date. b Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress CRS-2 http://wikileaks.org/wiki/CRS-94-740 g FERS is the Federal Employees’ Retirement system. Congress enacted the FERS to coordinate with Social Security coverage. Members who had been covered under the CSRS could elect to switch to the new FERS during “open seasons” held in 1987 and 1998, or could remain in the CSRS.