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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Fact Sheet
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal government agency established in 1974 by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA; P.L. 93-406). It was created to protect the pensions of participants and beneficiaries covered by private sector, defined benefit (DB) plans. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce serving as board members. In the 112th Congress, an amendment offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to S. 1813, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), contains provisions that would address the use of excess defined benefit pension plan assets and the interest rates that defined benefit plans use to value plan liabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85364/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
Report discussing the retirement systems in place for federal employees. Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, and contribute 7.0% of their pay to a retirement fund. Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System and contribute 0.8% of their pay to a retirement fund. Both require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. The taxable wage base is $110,100 in 2012. This report discusses both retirement funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86532/
Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries
This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial veterans' benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues, such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93842/
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes pension benefit programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels, and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries in FY2010. The most current pension programs available (for those meeting the eligibility criteria on or after January 1, 1979) are the Improved Disability Pension for certain low-income veterans, the Improved Death Pension for certain low-income surviving spouses or children of veterans, as well as a special pension for Medal of Honor recipients. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94230/
Legal Issues Related to Proving “Service Connection” for VA Disability Compensation: Statutory Presumptions
This report provides a basic overview of various statutory presumptions that help veterans substantiate a service-connected claim for disability compensation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103110/
The Military Survivor Benefit Plan: A Description of Its Provisions
This report describes the basic provisions of the military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and all relevant changes or modifications that have occurred since its creation in 1972. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122283/
Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues
The purpose of this report is to provide a general discussion of legislative provisions and proposals relating to the military benefits for former spouses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122282/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues
Report that discusses the two retirement systems: (1) the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) for individuals hired before 1984, (2) the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) for individuals hired in 1984 or later. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227950/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227963/
Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries
Report providing a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial benefits and national cemeteries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227679/
Loss of Federal Pensions for Members of Congress Convicted of Certain Offenses
This report discusses the current law with respect to the loss of the federal pension of a Member of Congress for the conviction of certain crimes and the recent law to limit a former Member's receiving service credit toward a federal pension for any time served as a Member of Congress if that person is convicted of any one of a number of criminal offenses involving abuse of the public trust. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227611/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
Report that covers the logistics and background of the Congressional Pension program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227962/
Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments
This report discusses the issues surrounding Social Security recipients that usually receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267844/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
This report discusses the retirement systems in place for federal employees. Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, and contribute 7.0% of their pay to a retirement fund. Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System and contribute 0.8% of their pay to a retirement fund. Both require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. This report also summarizes relevant legislation in the 113th Congress that would make significant changes to federal benefits and financing, including H.J.Res. 59, S. 18, S. 1678, and H.R. 3639. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271992/
Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities
This report discusses the 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271981/
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the noncontributory military retirement system which includes monthly compensation and benefits after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement for those physically unfit to continue to serve, and survivor benefits for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276867/
Reducing Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Military Retirees and the Bipartisan Budget Act: In Brief
This report discusses the reduction of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retirees through the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA). It includes an overview of the changes, demographics of military retirees, and potential effects of the changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282301/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues
This report discusses the two retirement systems: (1) the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) for individuals hired before 1984, and (2) the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) for individuals hired in 1984 or later. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284461/
Disability Retirement for Federal Employees
This report describes recent trends in the number of civil service annuitants and the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284454/
Worker Participation in Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Fact Sheet
The main part of this report is a fact sheet that provides data on the percentage of American workers who have access to and who participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. The data was collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through the National Compensation Survey (NCS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284474/
Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees
This report discusses the retirement benefits for federal employees that are governed by chapters 83 (CSRS) and 84 (FERS) of Title 5 of the United States Code. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287894/
Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO)
This report discusses the social security benefits and the spousal benefits of individuals who are not financially dependent on their spouses because they receive benefits based on their own work records. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287951/
Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits
This report provides a legislative and cultural history of the Former Presidents Act. It details the pension and benefits provided to former U.S. presidents and their costs; Congress has the authority to reduce, increase, or maintain these benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287935/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
This report discusses the retirement systems in place for federal employees including the Civil Service Retirement System (for employees hired before 1984) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (for employees hired in 1984 or later). Both programs require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. This report also summarizes relevant legislation in the 113th Congress that would make significant changes to federal benefits and financing, including H.J.Res. 59, S. 18, S. 1678, and H.R. 3639. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287973/
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the noncontributory military retirement system which includes monthly compensation and benefits after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement for those physically unfit to continue to serve, and survivor benefits for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306566/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332971/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332915/
Veterans' Benefits: Issues in the 110th Congress
This report discusses veterans' benefits issues that are already part of the legislative agenda for the 110th Congress or are likely to be of interest to Congress. These benefits and issues fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Also presented in this report are an overview of the benefits and their eligibility requirements, data on both the veteran population and the benefit population, and summary information on the FY2008 budget for veterans' benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462344/
Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems
This report discusses the Crediting Military Service under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Under both CSRS and FERS, federal employees who have served on active duty in the military can have their years of military service counted for retirement eligibility and pension benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462066/
Veterans' Benefits: Issues in the 110th Congress
This report provides a general discussion of veterans' benefits issues that are part of the legislative agenda of the 110th Congress or are likely to be of legislative interest. Among those issues are disability compensation and pensions; education benefits; homelessness; life insurance; the status or eligibility of groups such as U.S. merchant seamen and World War II Filipino veterans for veterans' benefits; Reserve and National Guard eligibility for veterans' benefits; the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; and legal representation for veterans. For each issue, an overview is provided, along with summaries of pertinent pending legislation. In addition, an overview of the benefits and their eligibility requirements, demographics for both the veteran population and the benefit population, and summary data on the FY2008 budget for veterans' benefits are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462776/
Veterans' Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Duty to Assist Claimants
This report analyzes court decisions that have examined the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) obligation to assist veterans during the claims process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463168/
The Effect of Firm Bankruptcy on Retiree Benefits, with Applications to the Automotive and Coal Industries
This report begins with a discussion of whether bankrupt firms can invalidate previous commitments covering retiree pensions and health insurance. The report next discusses the specific protections accorded to retiree pensions and health insurance benefits. Certain types of pensions are guaranteed by a quasi-public agency, while no such guarantee exists for retiree health insurance. The report concludes with brief case studies of the bankruptcies of Old GM, Delphi, and Patriot. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462918/
Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits
This report provides a legislative and cultural history of the Former Presidents Act (FPA). It details the benefits provided to former Presidents and their costs. Congress has the authority to reduce, increase, or maintain the pension and benefits provided to former Presidents of the United States. This report considers the potential effects of maintaining the FPA or amending the FPA in ways that might reduce or otherwise modify a former President's benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463511/
Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits
This report describes the benefits Presidents receive upon leaving office, details the history of the Former Presidents Act (FPA), and analyzes some legislative options for the 110th Congress related to former Presidents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463229/
Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 151A and Annuities: Issues and Legislation
This report explains the different types of annuities, the taxation of annuities, and disentangles the federal and state roles in the regulation of annuities. It outlines the SEC rule, including practical considerations for implementation. It also discusses congressional action in response to the SEC rule. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491613/
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the nature of the military retirement system. The military retirement system is a non-contributory, defined benefit system that has historically been viewed as a significant incentive in retaining a career military force. The system currently includes monthly compensation and benefits after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement for those physically unfit to continue to serve, and survivor benefits for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491367/
Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems
This report discusses the earned pension benefits under one of two retirement plans for the federal employees with permanent appointments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491178/
Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees
This report discusses the retirement benefits for federal employees that are governed by chapters 83 (CSRS) and 84 (FERS) of Title 5 of the United States Code. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491040/
Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Service-Connected Disabilities
This report describes disability compensation, which is a benefit Congress provides to American veterans and their dependents through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Disability compensation is a monthly cash benefit program for veterans currently impaired from past service-connected activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491175/
Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems
Federal employees with permanent appointments earn pension benefits under one of two retirement plans. Employees hired after 1983 participate in the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Employees hired before 1984 participate in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) unless they elected to transfer to the FERS during open seasons held in 1987 and 1998. This report discusses the changes in legislation that allowed veterans who subsequently became civilian federal employees to count their years of active-duty military service toward retirement eligibility and pension benefits under CSRS. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491109/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491426/
Veterans Affairs: "Gray Area Retirees"-- Issues and Related Legislation
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a broad range of benefits and services to American veterans and to certain members of their families. In addition, the Department of Defense (DOD) offers a variety of benefits to veterans who are also military retirees. When members of the National Guard or the Reserve who have not yet reached age 60 retire (usually after at least 20 years of service), however, they are not entitled to certain federal benefits, including health care. These military retirees are commonly known as "Gray Area Retirees" (GARs). These persons may not necessarily meet the relevant statutory definition of "veterans" for VA benefit purposes, nor are they eligible for DOD health benefits until they are eligible for military retired pay at age 60. This report examines the current VA and DOD benefit eligibility for members of the National Guard and the Reserves. It also examines the benefit status and situation of GARs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491654/
Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments
To compensate for the effects of inflation, Social Security recipients usually receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Benefits will be increased by 1.7% in 2015, following an increase of 1.5% in 2014. This report discusses how the COLA is determined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491378/
Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries
This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial benefits and national cemeteries. This report addresses congressional and constituent issues such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the Department of Veterans Affairs have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491385/
Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer and Analysis of Policy Options
This report discusses the nature of multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and issues regarding their financial solvency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491061/
Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress
In response to the economic downturn, Congress considered providing relief to Americans by suspending two tax penalties on defined contribution retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). This report discusses the reasons offered in support of suspending these provisions, as well as the drawbacks. This report also presents data that estimates the number of households that these proposals would impact. Borrowing from retirement plans as an alternative to withdrawals is also discussed. Finally, the report discusses the kinds of proposals offered to either suspend or eliminate the early withdrawal penalty or the required minimum distribution provision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491272/