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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2009

Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2009

Date: October 16, 2008
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: The 5.8% COLA payable in January 2009 was triggered by the rise in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008. This COLA triggers identical percentage increases in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans' pensions, and railroad retirement benefits, and causes other changes in the Social Security program. Although COLAs under the federal Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the federal military retirement program are not triggered by the Social Security COLA, these programs use the same measuring period and formula for computing their COLAs. Their recipients will also receive a 5.8% COLA in January 2009.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Retirement and Veterans' Compensation: Concurrent Receipt Issues

Military Retirement and Veterans' Compensation: Concurrent Receipt Issues

Date: April 7, 1995
Creator: Goldich, Robert L.
Description: This report describes the history and background of the offset and the legislative history of recent attempts to eliminate or reduce the offset. It delineates and analyzes the arguments for and against eliminating or reducing the offset and allowing concurrent receipt, and addresses the issues of costs, precedents in other Federal programs, purposes of the two programs, and equity issues. Finally, options other than full concurrent receipt are mentioned.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Date: January 29, 2008
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: 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. These pension plans provide a specified monthly benefit at retirement, usually either a percent of salary or a flat dollar amount multiplied by years of service. Defined contribution plans, such as ยง401(k) plans, are not insured. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of Treasury and Commerce serving as board members.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Annuities and the Securities and Exchange Commission Proposed Rule 151A

Annuities and the Securities and Exchange Commission Proposed Rule 151A

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird
Description: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released a proposed rule that would effectively reclassify equity indexed annuities as a security product in addition to being an insurance product. This report presents the different types of annuities, explains the taxation of annuities, and disentangles the federal and state roles in the regulation of annuities. It outlines the proposed SEC rule and its current status.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans Benefits: An Overview

Veterans Benefits: An Overview

Date: June 25, 2008
Creator: Davis, Carol D.; Panangala, Sidath Viranga & Scott, Christine
Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wide range of benefits and services to eligible veterans, members of their families, and survivors of deceased veterans. VA programs include disability compensation and pensions, readjustment benefits, and health care programs. The VA also provides life insurance, burial benefits, housing and other loan guaranty programs, and special counseling and outreach programs. While eligibility for specific benefits varies, veterans generally must meet requirements related to discharge type and length of active duty military service. This report provides an overview of major VA benefits and the VA budget.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Periods of War

U.S. Periods of War

Date: August 19, 2008
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Description: Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated "periods of war," dates marking their beginning and ending. These dates are important for qualification for certain veterans' pension or disability benefits. This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities' dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
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The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet

The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet

Date: August 7, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 authorized a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for eligible individuals who contribute to an IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The maximum credit is 50% of retirement contributions up to $2,000. This credit can reduce the amount of taxes owed, but the tax credit itself is non-refundable. The maximum credit is the lesser of either $1,000 or the tax that the individual would have owed without the credit. Eligibility is based on the taxpayer's adjusted gross income. The eligible income brackets are not indexed to inflation. Taxpayers under age 18 or who are full-time students are not eligible for the credit.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues

Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues

Date: June 1, 2006
Creator: Henning, Charles A.
Description: The military retirement system includes benefits for retirement after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement, and survivor benefits for eligible survivors of deceased retirees. The change to the system that has generated the most recent legislative activity involves whether some or all military retirees should be allowed to receive both military retired pay and any VA disability compensation to which they are otherwise entitled; this is referred to as "concurrent receipt." Starting in 1999 (FY2000), provisions in each year's annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized payments to comparatively small groups (in the tens of thousands) of military retirees in lieu of concurrent receipt. The most significant military retirement issue Congress dealt with in 2005 was whether military retirees with a 100% VA unemployability rating, but less than a 100% disability rating, should be entitled to full concurrent receipt as was provided to 100% disability retirees in 2004.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: August 31, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: According to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), the number of private-sector workers between the ages of 25 and 64 whose employer sponsored a retirement plan fell from 53.1 million in 2004 to 52.5 million in 2005. This report analyzes the Current Population Survey and describes several elements, including: 1) the percentage of workers whose employer sponsored a retirement plan; 2) the percentage of workers who participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan; 3) the likelihood of black, Hispanic, and other non-white workers to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan; and 4) the percentage of part-year or part-time workers in the private sector whose employer sponsored a retirement plan.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004

Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004

Date: April 20, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J & Whitman, Debra B
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004

Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004

Date: April 20, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J & Whitman, Debra B
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: August 31, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: August 31, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Reexamining Eligibility for Disability Benefits

Social Security: Reexamining Eligibility for Disability Benefits

Date: May 25, 1984
Creator: Koitz, David
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: Trends from 2001 to 2004

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: Trends from 2001 to 2004

Date: May 22, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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
Periods of War

Periods of War

Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in January 1988

Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in January 1988

Date: October 23, 1987
Creator: Koitz, David
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Former Presidents: Pensions, Facilities, and Services

Former Presidents: Pensions, Facilities, and Services

Date: May 18, 1984
Creator: Smith, Stephanie
Description: The Former Presidents Act (72 Stat. 838) of 1958 provides financial and practical means to those who have served as President of the United States and still retain certain implicit public duties. In 1958, the cost of former Presidents to the public was an estimated $64,000. In FY84, approximately $27 million will be spent on benefits to former Presidents and their widows. Operation and maintenance of Presidential Libraries was approximately $14.9 million in FY83. This report discusses increasing concerns regarding the amounts and the types of expenditures that have been made.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
A Comparison of Benefits Earned Under Social Security and Civil Service Retirement

A Comparison of Benefits Earned Under Social Security and Civil Service Retirement

Date: August 2, 1982
Creator: Snook, Dennis W
Description: This report provides a brief side-by-side comparison of Civil Service Retirement and Social Security benefits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings

Date: November 22, 1982
Creator: Schmitt, Ray
Description: This report discusses Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRA) and their tax incentives. Many workers covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans do not work long enough with one employer to be entitled to a pension. Others may be covered by a profit-sharing plan to which the employer may have little or no profits to contribute. Since these individuals were "covered" by a retirement plan, they were ineligible to make tax-deductible contributions to a tax-sheltered Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA). Many observers considered this a tax inequity and felt that all employees should be eligible to establish their own IRAs or make tax-deductible contributions to their employer's plan. Congress responded to this situation by approving retirement savings incentives for all workers as part of the tax cut bill (H.R. 4242). All workers, whether or not covered by an employer pension plan, are now permitted tax deductible contributions to IRAs up to $2,000 a year.
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Funding Postal Service Obligations to the Civil Service Retirement System

Funding Postal Service Obligations to the Civil Service Retirement System

Date: January 2, 2003
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Stevens, Nye
Description: This report provides background on the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) funding of its retirement obligations, describes and analyzes the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recalculation, and discusses considerations Congress may bring to bear on the draft legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues

Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues

Date: March 14, 2006
Creator: Henning, Charles A
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department