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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: October 16, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). All CSRS retirees and survivors receive COLAs. Under FERS, however, non-disabled retirees under age 62 do not receive COLAs. This report discusses cost-of-living adjustments for government retirees, as well as related legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: January 20, 2010
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: Under the terms of the Federal Employees' Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. The annual increases in federal employee pay are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the private sector, as measured by the ECI. Under certain circumstances, the President may limit the annual increase in federal pay by executive order. Federal law also requires Social Security benefits and the pensions paid to retired federal employees to be adjusted each year. The COLAs for both Social Security and civil service pensions are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the CPI.
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Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: January 8, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: Under the terms of the Federal Employees' Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. The annual increases in federal employee pay are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the private sector, as measured by the ECI. Under certain circumstances, the President may limit the annual increase in federal pay by executive order. Federal law also requires Social Security benefits and the pensions paid to retired federal employees to be adjusted each year. The COLAs for both Social Security and civil service pensions are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the CPI.
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H.R. 6500, The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008

H.R. 6500, The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report describes the various aspects of the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008.
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Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Date: September 15, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report begins by describing the change in the age distribution of the U.S. population that will occur between 2005 and 2025 and by summarizing the historical data on the labor force participation of older workers. This discussion is followed by an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey on employment and receipt of pension income among persons age 55 and older. Employment trends among older workers are then discussed in the context of data from the Social Security Administration on the proportion of workers who claim retired-worker benefits before the full retirement age (65 years and 10 months for people who turn 65 in 2008). The final section of the report discusses "phased retirement," a process that combines reduced hours of work with receipt of pension income.
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Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Date: September 16, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report begins by describing the change in the age distribution of the U.S. population that will occur between 2010 and 2030 and by summarizing the historical data on the labor force participation of older workers. This discussion is followed by an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) on employment and receipt of pension income among persons aged 55 and older.
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Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Date: January 15, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report briefly discusses the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and how it protects the interests of participants and beneficiaries in private-sector employee benefit plans. ERISA covers a number of fringe benefits provided by employers, but most of its provisions deal with pension plans. Pension plans sponsored by the federal, state, and local governments, or by churches generally are exempt from ERISA.
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Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007

Date: April 8, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses various issues that impact the retirement income of Americans. About half of all workers in the United States participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan of some kind, a proportion that has remained relatively stable over the past thirty years. Because the majority of assets held in retirement accounts are invested in stocks, trends in stock prices have a significant impact on households' retirement account balances.
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401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress

401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress

Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Topoleski, John J.
Description: Over the past 25 years, defined contribution (DC) plans - including 401(k) plans - have become the most prevalent form of employer-sponsored retirement plan in the United States. This report describes seven major policy issues with respect to defined contribution plans: 1) access to employer-sponsored retirement plans; 2) participation in employer-sponsored plans; 3) contribution rates; 4) investment choices; 5) fee disclosure; 6) leakage from retirement savings; and 7) converting retirement savings into income.
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Civil Service Retirement Bills in the 106th Congress

Civil Service Retirement Bills in the 106th Congress

Date: June 28, 2000
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: Among the civil service retirement issues addressed in bills introduced thus far in the 106th Congress are the correction of retirement coverage errors for federal employees assigned to the wrong retirement system; immediate eligibility for federal employees to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP); improved portability of pension benefits; and repeal of the temporary increase in employee retirement contributions that was mandated by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Other bills would expand TSP eligibility to include members of the armed services; improve pension coverage for temporary and part-time federal employees; and designate several categories of federal employees as law enforcement officers for purposes of determining their retirement benefits.
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Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: October 19, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). COLAs for both CSRS and FERS are determined by the average monthly CPI-W during the third quarter (July to September) of the current calendar year and the third quarter of the previous year.
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Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: October 18, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). COLAs for both CSRS and FERS are determined by the average monthly CPI-W during the third quarter (July to September) of the current calendar year and the third quarter of the previous year.
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Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Bills in the 107th Congress

Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Bills in the 107th Congress

Date: March 28, 2002
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: In the wake of the bankruptcy of Enron Corporation, numerous bills have been introduced in the 107th Congress with the intent of protecting workers from the financial losses that employees risk when they invest a large proportion of their retirement savings in securities issued by their employers. Legislative proposals include some that would directly regulate the proportion of employees’ retirement savings that can be comprised of employer securities, and others that would encourage education of employees on financial matters without imposing a cap on employee investment in employer securities.
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Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security

Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security

Date: July 12, 2002
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: This CRS Report begins by describing the shift from traditional defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans – like the 401(k) – that has occurred over the last 20 to 25 years. It then summarizes recent research findings on the extent to which employees’ retirement savings are invested in employer stock. The third section of the report outlines the provisions of federal law that define an employer’s duty to manage its retirement plan in the best interest of the plan’s participants. The report concludes with a summary of pension reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives in April 2002 and a description of several pension reform bills that have been introduced in the Senate in 2002.
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Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security

Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security

Date: January 28, 2003
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: This CRS Report begins by describing the shift from traditional defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans – like the 401(k) – that has occurred over the last 20 to 25 years. It then summarizes recent research findings on the extent to which employees’ retirement savings are invested in employer stock. The third section of the report outlines the provisions of federal law that define an employer’s duty to manage its retirement plan in the best interest of the plan’s participants. The report concludes with a summary of pension reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives in April 2002 and a description of several pension reform bills that have been introduced in the Senate in 2002.
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The Enron Bankruptcy and Employer Stock in Retirement Plans

The Enron Bankruptcy and Employer Stock in Retirement Plans

Date: March 11, 2002
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: This report describes the current laws governing the holding of employer stock in employee retirement plans and summarizes some key policy questions that pension analysts have raised about holding such stock in defined contribution retirement plans.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: February 9, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: Pay increases for current federal employees and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired federal employees often differ because they are based on changes in different economic variables. Increases in pay for civilian federal workers are indexed to wage and salary increases in the private-sector, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI), while federal retirement and disability benefits are indexed to price increases as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This report discusses the procedures for determining such increases.
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Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: January 21, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: Pay increases for current federal employees and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired federal employees often differ because they are based on changes in different economic variables. Increases in pay for civilian federal workers are indexed to wage and salary increases in the private-sector, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI), while federal retirement and disability benefits are indexed to price increases as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This report discusses the procedures for determining such increases.
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Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Date: September 16, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
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Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Date: September 14, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
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Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Date: October 26, 2001
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
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Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Date: January 14, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
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Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Date: July 31, 2000
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
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Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: A Summary of Recent Data

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: A Summary of Recent Data

Date: June 28, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department