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 Country: United States
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Automatic Enrollment in Section 401(k) Plans

Automatic Enrollment in Section 401(k) Plans

Date: October 14, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses enrollment practices for 401k retirement plans. Historically, most employers that have sponsored retirement savings plans under §401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) have required employees to decide whether to enroll in the plan. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued rulings to inform employers that current law allows them to enroll employees automatically, provided that the employee is notified in advance and is permitted to leave the plan.
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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.
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Retirement Plan Participation and Contributions: Trends from 1998 to 2006

Retirement Plan Participation and Contributions: Trends from 1998 to 2006

Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: 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.
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Military Death Benefits: Status and Proposals

Military Death Benefits: Status and Proposals

Date: January 24, 2006
Creator: Burrelli, David F & Corwell, Jennifer R
Description: This report describes the various death benefits from the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Social Security available to certain survivors of members of the Armed Forces who die on active duty.
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Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Date: April 10, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Staman, Jennifer
Description: 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 employers. ERISA contains various provisions intended to protect the rights of plan participants and beneficiaries in employee benefit plans. These protections include requirements relating to reporting and disclosure, participation, vesting, and benefit accrual, as well as plan funding. ERISA also regulates the responsibilities of plan fiduciaries and other issues regarding plan administration. ERISA contains various standards that a plan must meet in order to receive favorable tax treatment, and also governs plan termination. 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.
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Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Date: May 19, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Staman, Jennifer
Description: 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.
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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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Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: March 23, 2009
Creator: Scott, Christine & Davis, Carol D.
Description: This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels.
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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.
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The Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008: An Overview

The Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008: An Overview

Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: Staman, Jennifer
Description: 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.
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Pension Issues: Lump-Sum Distributions and Retirement Income Security

Pension Issues: Lump-Sum Distributions and Retirement Income Security

Date: January 7, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: 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.
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues

Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues

Date: October 21, 2003
Creator: Goldich, Robert L.
Description: This report discusses various proposed changes to the military retirement system, which includes benefits for retirement after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement, and survivor benefits for eligible survivors of deceased retirees. Major issues include 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 -- referred to as "concurrent receipt" -- whether some military personnel should be entitled to military retired pay with less than 20 years of service, and whether many more personnel should serve well past the 20-year point before retiring.
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Veterans' Pensions: Fact Sheet

Veterans' Pensions: Fact Sheet

Date: February 26, 2001
Creator: Snook, Dennis W. & Alice D. Butler
Description: This report discusses veterans' pensions, which are monthly cash payments made to qualified veterans or survivors so that their total income from all countable sources reach specified annual levels and are administered by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).
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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.
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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.
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Congressional Salaries and Allowances

Congressional Salaries and Allowances

Date: August 5, 2004
Creator: Dwyer, Paul E.
Description: This report provides basic information on congressional salaries and allowances. First, the report briefly summarizes the current salary of Members of Congress, limits on their outside earned income and honoraria, and applicable health insurance and retirement benefits. Second, it provides information on allowances available to Representatives and Senators to support them in their official and representational duties as Members. Third, it provides the salaries and allowances available to the Speaker of the House and the Vice President, as President of the Senate, and lists the salaries of congressional officers and officials and committee staff.
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Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits

Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits

Date: August 22, 2008
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: 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.
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Income of Americans Aged 65 and Older, 1968 to 2008

Income of Americans Aged 65 and Older, 1968 to 2008

Date: November 4, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: 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.
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Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Purcell, Patrick
Description: 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.
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Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: September 8, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses trends that will affect the economic well-being of future retirees.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Investment Policy: Issues for Congress

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Investment Policy: Issues for Congress

Date: September 8, 2008
Creator: Kinneen, Kelly & Purcell, Patrick
Description: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is a federal corporation established under Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It insures private pension beneficiaries against the complete loss of accrued benefits if their defined benefit pension plan is terminated without adequate funding. It receives no appropriations from general revenue. Its operations are financed by insurance premiums set by Congress and paid by sponsors of defined benefit plans, investment income from the assets in its trust fund, and recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the trusted plans.
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Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems

Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems

Date: March 9, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses the earned pension benefits under one of two retirement plans for the federal employees with permanent appointments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Retirement Saving Plans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Retirement Saving Plans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Date: February 9, 2001
Creator: Franco, Celinda
Description: This report provides answers to 10 of the most frequently-asked questions related to rules and provisions that govern savings in individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
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Individual Retirement Accounts: A Fact Sheet

Individual Retirement Accounts: A Fact Sheet

Date: February 22, 2001
Creator: Graney, Paul J.
Description: This report discusses general information about individual retirement accounts (IRAs), established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-406) to promote retirement saving; the accounts were limited at first to workers (and spouses) who lacked employer pension coverage.
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