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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Individual Accounts: What Rate of Return Would They Earn?
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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/
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/metadc26058/
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/
Concurrent Receipt of Military Retirement and VA Disability Benefits: Budgetary Issues
House and Senate conferees on the FY2003 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4546) are currently considering provisions that would lift the longstanding prohibition on concurrent receipt (simultaneous payment) of Department of Defense (DoD) retired pay and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) disability benefits. The House-passed bill would phase in partial concurrent receipt by providing both retirement and VA benefits for those with disabilities of 60 percent or above by FY2007. The Senate-passed bill provides full concurrent receipt for military retirees with any disability rating in FY2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3603/
Concurrent Receipt of Military Retirement and VA Disability Benefits: Budgetary Issues
House and Senate conferees on the FY2003 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4546) are currently considering provisions that would lift the longstanding prohibition on concurrent receipt (simultaneous payment) of Department of Defense (DoD) retired pay and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) disability benefits. The House-passed bill would phase in partial concurrent receipt by providing both retirement and VA benefits for those with disabilities of 60 percent or above by FY2007. The Senate-passed bill provides full concurrent receipt for military retirees with any disability rating in FY2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3602/
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). COLAs for both CSRS and FERS are determined by the average monthly CPI-W during the third quarter (July to September) of the current calendar year and the third quarter of the previous year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7587/
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2006
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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). COLAs for both CSRS and FERS are determined by the average monthly CPI-W during the third quarter (July to September) of the current calendar year and the third quarter of the previous year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7674/
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/
Railroad Retirement: Legislation in the 107th Congress
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The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet
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Social Security Reform: How Much of a Role Could Personal Retirement Accounts Play?
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Social Security Reform: How Much of a Role Could Private Retirement Accounts Play?
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Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2002
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Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2003
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Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends
This report discusses trends that will affect the economic well-being of future retirees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689315/
Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends
This report discusses trends that will affect the economic well-being of future retirees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689483/
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in January 1988
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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/
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/
The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 authorized a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for eligible individuals who contribute to an IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The maximum credit is 50% of retirement contributions up to $2,000. This credit can reduce the amount of taxes owed, but the tax credit itself is non-refundable. The maximum credit is the lesser of either $1,000 or the tax that the individual would have owed without the credit. Eligibility is based on the taxpayer's adjusted gross income. The eligible income brackets are not indexed to inflation. Taxpayers under age 18 or who are full-time students are not eligible for the credit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10233/
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Investment Policy: Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83884/
Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO)
This report discusses the social security benefits and the spousal benefits of individuals who are not financially dependent on their spouses because they receive benefits based on their own work records. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287951/
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/
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/
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/
Pension Issues Cloud Postal Reform Debate
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COLAs for Military Retirees: Summary of Congressional and Executive Branch Action, 1982-2001 (FY1983-FY2002)
The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1982 (which applied to FY1983 budget issues) suspended previously existing permanent law pertaining to cost-of-living adjustments(COLAs) for federal civilian and military retirees, and changed the COLA calculation formulas to postpone and/or reduce future COLAs for military retirees during 1983-1985 (FY1984-FY1986).This report examines executive and congressional COLA-related initiatives associated with each of the fiscal year budgeting processes from calendar year 1982 (FY1983) through calendar year 2000 (FY2001). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3221/
COLAs for Military Retirees: Summary of Congressional and Executive Branch Action, 1982-2002 (FY1983-FY2003)
The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1982 (which applied to FY1983 budget issues) suspended previously existing permanent law pertaining to cost-of-living adjustments(COLAs) for federal civilian and military retirees, and changed the COLA calculation formulas to postpone and/or reduce future COLAs for military retirees during 1983-1985 (FY1984-FY1986).This report examines executive and congressional COLA-related initiatives associated with each of the fiscal year budgeting processes from calendar year 1982 (FY1983) through calendar year 2000 (FY2001). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3222/
COLAs for Military Retirees: Summary of Congressional and Executive Branch Action, 1982-2003 (FY1983-FY2004)
The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1982 (which applied to FY1983 budget issues) suspended previously existing permanent law pertaining to cost-of-living adjustments(COLAs) for federal civilian and military retirees, and changed the COLA calculation formulas to postpone and/or reduce future COLAs for military retirees during 1983-1985 (FY1984-FY1986).This report examines executive and congressional COLA-related initiatives associated with each of the fiscal year budgeting processes from calendar year 1982 (FY1983) through calendar year 2000 (FY2001). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6000/
Social Security: The Government Pension Offset
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Military Retirement and Veterans' Compensation: Concurrent Receipt Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26093/
Disability Retirement for Federal Employees
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/metadc284454/
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/metadc332971/
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/
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/
Veterans' Benefits: Issues in the 110th Congress
This report discusses veterans' benefits issues that are already part of the legislative agenda for the 110th Congress or are likely to be of interest to Congress. These benefits and issues fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Also presented in this report are an overview of the benefits and their eligibility requirements, data on both the veteran population and the benefit population, and summary information on the FY2008 budget for veterans' benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462344/
Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462066/
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/
Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): A Primer
This report describes the primary features of two common retirement savings accounts that are available to individuals. Although the accounts have many features in common, they differ in some very important aspects. Both traditional and Roth IRAs offer tax incentives to encourage individuals to save for retirement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503705/
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/
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/
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/
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
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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet
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Budget Reconciliation and the PBGC
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) posted a deficit of $23.5 billion as of the latest reporting period, and the deficit is expected to grow further. Major bills introduced in the 109th Congress to reform funding rules for the defined benefit pension system and to raise PBGC premiums include H.R. 2830 and S. 1783. Neither has yet passed the full House or Senate. PBGC premiums are an important source of revenue for meeting the budget reconciliation targets. The House Budget Committee has reported out H.R. 4241, a budget reconciliation package that would raise PBGC premiums. The Senate has passed S. 1932, a budget reconciliation package that also contains PBGC premium increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8307/
A Comparison of Benefits Earned Under Social Security and Civil Service Retirement
This report provides a brief side-by-side comparison of Civil Service Retirement and Social Security benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8802/
The Enron Bankruptcy and Employer Stock in Retirement Plans
This report describes the current laws governing the holding of employer stock in employee retirement plans and summarizes some key policy questions that pension analysts have raised about holding such stock in defined contribution retirement plans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2829/