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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/metadc795669/
Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals
To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report discusses risks involved with retirement fund disbursement and strategies for dealing with such risks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83870/
Pension Issues: Lump-Sum Distributions and Retirement Income Security
This report covers several issues regarding pensions. Forty-seven percent of all workers aged 21 and older participated in employer-sponsored retirement plans in 2006, but not all of these workers will receive a pension or other income from these plans when they retire. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795436/
Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26065/
The Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008: An Overview
This report highlights the provisions of the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA) (P.L. 110-455) relating to the economic crisis. This report also discusses certain technical corrections to the Pension Protection Act made by WRERA, and certain other notable provisions of the Act affecting retirement plans and benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795743/
Retirement Plan Participation and Contributions: Trends from 1998 to 2006
This report discusses worker participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans. The analysis CRS conducted for this report focused on workers aged 21 and older with a paid job in the private sector. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795471/
Overview of Filipino Veterans' Benefits
This report defines the four specific groups (Regular Philippine Scouts, Commonwealth Army of the Philippines, Recognized Guerilla Forces, and New Philippine Scouts) of Filipino nationals who served under the command of the United States. It also outlines the Rescission Acts of 1946, benefit changes since 1946, current benefits for Filipino veterans by group, and recent legislative proposals and legislation, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743552/
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/metadc743586/
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503427/
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700850/
Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
Due to the recent economic decline and the desire to enact large-scale health reform, the current federal regulation of pension plans, health plans, and other employee benefit plans has received considerable congressional attention. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) provides a comprehensive federal scheme for the regulation of employee pension and welfare benefit plans offered by private-sector employers. ERISA contains various provisions intended to protect the rights of plan participants and beneficiaries in employee benefit plans. This report provides background on the pension laws prior to ERISA, discusses various types of employee benefit plans governed by ERISA, provides an overview of ERISA’s requirements, and includes a glossary of commonly used terms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822611/
401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26189/
Income of Americans Aged 65 and Older, 1968 to 2008
This report presents data collected by the Census Bureau in the Current Population Survey from 1969 through 2009 about the employment status and the sources and amounts of income received by people aged 65 and older. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627049/
U.S. Periods of War
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626965/
Automatic Cost of Living Adjustments: Some Economic and Practical Considerations
This report looks at how automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) influence the budget and identifies major programs that have indexing provisions. It also explains what price indexes attempt to measure and discusses some of their weaknesses. Finally, it points out some practical things to keep in mind when establishing an indexing provision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503634/
Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29484/
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503535/
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/
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/
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/
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/
U.S. Periods of War
Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated "periods of war," dates marking their beginning and ending. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31444/
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/
Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities
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/metadc31303/
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/metadc29602/
Veterans' Benefits: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Survivors
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers directly, or in conjunction with other federal agencies, several benefits for surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents of deceased veterans to provide them with financial, educational, and emotional support. Among these various programs, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly tax-free cash payment for eligible surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents. This report outlines the eligibility requirements and benefit levels for DIC, the policy issues associated with DIC, and legislation in the 111th Congress related to DIC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29574/
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29754/
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/metadc29668/
Federal Employees: Pension COLAs and Pay Adjustments Since 1969
Congress has linked adjustments in federal pay to the ECI so that wages for federal employees will remain competitive with wages paid by firms in the private sector. 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. These annual adjustments in federal employee pay-which are distinct from any pay raises associated with within-grade step increases or promotions to a higher pay grade-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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83804/
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/
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' 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/
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31501/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
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 $106,800 in 2011. This report discusses both retirement funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83861/
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/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Summary of Recent Trends
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/metadc83868/
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/
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/
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/
Veterans Affairs: A Preliminary Analysis of the FY2012 Appropriations Request
This report provides a preliminary analysis of the President's budget request for FY2012 for the programs administered by the VA. This report is not an exhaustive discussion of VA's budget request for FY2012. A full CRS report on FY2012 VA budget and appropriations issues is planned after initial congressional consideration of appropriations legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33022/
Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries
This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial 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 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/metadc83949/
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/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
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/metadc83862/
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/
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/
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/
Congressional Salaries and Allowances
This report provides basic information on congressional salaries and allowances and recent developments. First, the report briefly summarizes the current salary of Members of Congress; limits or prohibitions on their outside earned income, honoraria, and tax deductions; options for life and health insurance; and retirement benefits. Second, the report provides information on allowances available to Representatives and Senators to support them in their official and representational duties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822350/