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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Date: January 10, 2013
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the two retirement systems for federal employees: (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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Employee Retirement Programs: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Federal Employee Retirement Programs: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Date: March 14, 2007
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Description: Retirement annuities for civilian federal employees are provided mainly through two programs: the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). These annuities are financed through a combination of employee contributions and payments made by the federal government to the civil service retirement trust fund. This report discusses the two programs, how they work, and how they are financed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Employee Retirement Programs: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Federal Employee Retirement Programs: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Date: May 24, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Description: Retirement annuities for civilian federal employees are provided mainly through two programs: the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). These annuities are financed through a combination of employee contributions and payments made by the federal government to the civil service retirement trust fund. This report discusses the two programs, how they work, and how they are financed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Date: May 17, 2010
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn & Shelton, Alison M.
Description: Social Security benefits received before a person attains full retirement age (FRA) are subject to an actuarial reduction for early retirement and also may be reduced by the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (RET) if the beneficiary has earnings that exceed an annual threshold. This report explains how the RET is applied under current law and provides detailed benefit examples to show how the RET affects both the worker beneficiary and any family members (auxiliary beneficiaries) who receive benefits based on the worker beneficiary’s record. The report points out features of the RET that are not widely known or understood, such as the recomputation of benefits when a beneficiary attains FRA to adjust (increase) benefits to take into account months for which no benefit or a partial benefit was paid as a result of the RET. Finally, the report discusses policy issues related to the RET, including recent research on the effect of the RET on work effort and the decision to claim Social Security benefits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Date: January 14, 2011
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn & Shelton, Alison M.
Description: Social Security benefits received before a person attains full retirement age (FRA) are subject to an actuarial reduction for early retirement and also may be reduced by the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (RET) if the beneficiary has earnings that exceed an annual threshold. This report explains how the RET is applied under current law and provides detailed benefit examples to show how the RET affects both the worker beneficiary and any family members (auxiliary beneficiaries) who receive benefits based on the worker beneficiary’s record. The report points out features of the RET that are not widely known or understood, such as the recomputation of benefits when a beneficiary attains FRA to adjust (increase) benefits to take into account months for which no benefit or a partial benefit was paid as a result of the RET. Finally, the report discusses policy issues related to the RET, including recent research on the effect of the RET on work effort and the decision to claim Social Security benefits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Date: January 4, 2012
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn & Shelton, Alison M.
Description: Social Security benefits received before a person attains full retirement age (FRA) are subject to an actuarial reduction for early retirement and also may be reduced by the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (RET) if the beneficiary has earnings that exceed an annual threshold. This report explains how the RET is applied under current law and provides detailed benefit examples to show how the RET affects both the worker beneficiary and any family members (auxiliary beneficiaries) who receive benefits based on the worker beneficiary’s record. The report points out features of the RET that are not widely known or understood, such as the recomputation of benefits when a beneficiary attains FRA to adjust (increase) benefits to take into account months for which no benefit or a partial benefit was paid as a result of the RET. Finally, the report discusses policy issues related to the RET, including recent research on the effect of the RET on work effort and the decision to claim Social Security benefits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
ERISA’s Impact on Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims Against Managed Care Plans

ERISA’s Impact on Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims Against Managed Care Plans

Date: February 21, 2008
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Description: This report examines the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which provides a comprehensive federal scheme for the regulation of employee pension and welfare benefit plans offered by employers. While ERISA does not require an employer to offer pension and welfare benefits, it does mandate compliance with its provisions if such benefits are offered. Congress enacted ERISA to eliminate the conflicting and inconsistent regulation of pension and employee welfare benefit plans by state laws. The provisions at issue in the preemption debate are sections 502(a) and 514(a) of ERISA.
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The Market for Retirement Annuities

The Market for Retirement Annuities

Date: May 18, 2006
Creator: Ranade, Neela K.
Description: A retirement annuity allows an individual to purchase a regular payment stream from an insurance company to last his lifetime. Despite the ability of the product to eliminate the risk that a retiree will outlive his assets, few retirement annuities have been sold in the individual market. In addition, the number of individuals who annuitize their defined contribution retirement plan balances remains small. New products are emerging that would offer alternate annuity designs and make annuity prices more attractive. This report discusses legislation has been proposed in the 109th Congress that would enhance the tax treatment of annuities and encourage the growth of stand-alone annuity and combined annuity and long-term care products.
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Qualified Charitable Distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts: Features and Legislative History

Qualified Charitable Distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts: Features and Legislative History

Date: February 4, 2015
Creator: Topoleski, John J. & Sidor, Gary
Description: A provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-280) allows tax-free distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) for charitable purposes. This report describes the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) provision.
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Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 18, 2011
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: April 16, 2014
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report discusses windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
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Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: February 15, 2013
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 29, 2010
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: May 11, 2009
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because Social Security’s benefit formula is weighted such that workers with low lifetime earnings receive a greater share of their covered earnings in benefits than workers with medium or high lifetime earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 8, 2013
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: March 8, 2007
Creator: Haltzel, Laura
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security’s benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP) reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: June 30, 2015
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP) reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 14, 2008
Creator: Haltzel, Laura
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security’s benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and often unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency

Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency

Date: October 27, 2006
Creator: Shrestha, Laura B.
Description: As highlighted by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the aging of the (United States) population, hastened by the impending retirement of the huge baby-boom generation, has caused policy-makers to question whether the U.S. Social Security system can meet the demands for retirement benefits in the future. Because the current system largely pays benefits through taxes paid by current workers, the financial health of the system is sensitive to the ratio of dependents to workers—sometimes called the age dependency ratio or support ratio. Trends and projections of dependency ratios, including the relationship between both older (years 65 and older) and younger (under age 20) dependents to the working-age population in the United States are considered in the first section of this demographic report. Next, the United States is compared to nine other nations, including the seven other members of the G8. In the final section, policy implications of the changing dependent-to-worker ratios are considered in the context of pay-as-you-go (paygo) social security systems.
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Fee Disclosure in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans: Background and Legislation

Fee Disclosure in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans: Background and Legislation

Date: January 29, 2010
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: This report provides information on the kinds of fees that are charged in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans and details the provisions of bills introduced in the 111th Congress that address fee disclosure in retirement plans.
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Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Henning, Charles A.
Description: This report discusses the military retirement system. The system currently includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
H.R. 4: The Pension Protection Act

H.R. 4: The Pension Protection Act

Date: September 27, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses the Pension Protection Act (PPA) reforms and the funding rules for defined benefit pensions; requires employers to disclose more information about pension funding; restricts benefit payments and accruals in underfunded plans; and clarifies, prospectively, that cash balance pension plans do not violate legal prohibitions on age discrimination in employee benefits.
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Social Security: The Government Pension Offset

Social Security: The Government Pension Offset

Date: February 13, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report discusses the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision, which reduces Social Security benefits that a person receives as a spouse if he or she also has a government pension based on work that was not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to replicate Social Security’s “dual entitlement” rule, which requires that a Social Security benefit earned as a worker be subtracted from any Social Security spousal benefit to which the worker is eligible. Its intent is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive if they could receive both a government pension and full Social Security spousal benefits. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair. Five bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress that would modify or repeal the provision.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department