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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine & Davis, Carol D.
Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers several pension benefit programs for veterans as well as their surviving spouses and dependent children. 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 and the Improved Death Pension for certain low-income surviving spouses or children of veterans. There is also a special pension for Medal of Honor recipients. This report describes these programs, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels. This report will be updated as needed to reflect legislative activity and changes to benefits or eligibility requirements.
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Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: 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.
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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
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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Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions

Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions

Date: January 13, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Description: 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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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