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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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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Automatic Cost of Living Adjustments: Some Economic and Practical Considerations

Automatic Cost of Living Adjustments: Some Economic and Practical Considerations

Date: January 11, 2010
Creator: Cashell, Brian W.
Description: 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.
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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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Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: November 20, 2015
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Congressional decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
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Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: April 4, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Congress's decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
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Congressional Salaries and Allowances

Congressional Salaries and Allowances

Date: January 15, 2013
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Description: 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.
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Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief

Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief

Date: December 30, 2014
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Description: 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.
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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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Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: November 1, 2013
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the 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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Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
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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Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: October 15, 2015
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and government retirees, as well as related legislation.
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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: December 20, 2012
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the earned pension benefits under one of two retirement plans for the federal employees with permanent appointments.
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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: December 30, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: 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.
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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 27, 2014
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the Crediting Military Service under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Under both CSRS and FERS, federal employees who have served on active duty in the military can have their years of military service counted for retirement eligibility and pension benefits.
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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.
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Disability Retirement for Federal Employees

Disability Retirement for Federal Employees

Date: March 25, 2014
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report describes recent trends in the number of civil service annuitants and the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.
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Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress

Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress

Date: January 7, 2011
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: 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.
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The Effect of Firm Bankruptcy on Retiree Benefits, with Applications to the Automotive and Coal Industries

The Effect of Firm Bankruptcy on Retiree Benefits, with Applications to the Automotive and Coal Industries

Date: September 22, 2014
Creator: Rapaport, Carol
Description: This report begins with a discussion of whether bankrupt firms can invalidate previous commitments covering retiree pensions and health insurance. The report next discusses the specific protections accorded to retiree pensions and health insurance benefits. Certain types of pensions are guaranteed by a quasi-public agency, while no such guarantee exists for retiree health insurance. The report concludes with brief case studies of the bankruptcies of Old GM, Delphi, and Patriot.
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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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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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Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: January 20, 2010
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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Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: February 9, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: Pay increases for current federal employees and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired federal employees often differ because they are based on changes in different economic variables. Increases in pay for civilian federal workers are indexed to wage and salary increases in the private-sector, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI), while federal retirement and disability benefits are indexed to price increases as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This report discusses the procedures for determining such increases.
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Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: January 21, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: Pay increases for current federal employees and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired federal employees often differ because they are based on changes in different economic variables. Increases in pay for civilian federal workers are indexed to wage and salary increases in the private-sector, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI), while federal retirement and disability benefits are indexed to price increases as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This report discusses the procedures for determining such increases.
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