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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security
This CRS Report begins by describing the shift from traditional defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans – like the 401(k) – that has occurred over the last 20 to 25 years. It then summarizes recent research findings on the extent to which employees’ retirement savings are invested in employer stock. The third section of the report outlines the provisions of federal law that define an employer’s duty to manage its retirement plan in the best interest of the plan’s participants. The report concludes with a summary of pension reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives in April 2002 and a description of several pension reform bills that have been introduced in the Senate in 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2821/
Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security
This CRS Report begins by describing the shift from traditional defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans – like the 401(k) – that has occurred over the last 20 to 25 years. It then summarizes recent research findings on the extent to which employees’ retirement savings are invested in employer stock. The third section of the report outlines the provisions of federal law that define an employer’s duty to manage its retirement plan in the best interest of the plan’s participants. The report concludes with a summary of pension reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives in April 2002 and a description of several pension reform bills that have been introduced in the Senate in 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4654/
Pensions: Major Provisions of the Retirement Security and Savings Act of 2000
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1893/
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Legislative Issues in the 105th Congress
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Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Legislative Issues in the 106th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1890/
Federal Employees' Retirement Benefits: Bills in the 108th Congress
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Federal Employees' Retirement Benefits: Bills in the 108th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4981/
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/
Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA
This report briefly discusses the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and how it protects the interests of participants and beneficiaries in private-sector employee benefit plans. ERISA covers a number of fringe benefits provided by employers, but most of its provisions deal with pension plans. Pension plans sponsored by the federal, state, and local governments, or by churches generally are exempt from ERISA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29496/
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/metadc700710/
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/
Overview of Filipino Veterans' Benefits
This report defines the four specific groups 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795638/
Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary
This report discusses recent attempts at legislative action regarding changes to the computation of benefits under Social Security Amendments of 1977 (P.L. 95-216), which directly affected retirees born in the 5- to 15-year period after 1916. These persons fall in the "notch" between previous Social Security legislation and those affected by the amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795458/
Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), which treats military personnel former spouses eligibility to receive certain military benefits or privileges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8210/
Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004
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Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9971/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
This report discusses 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. This report also summarizes relevant legislation in the 113th Congress that would make significant changes to federal benefits and financing, including H.J.Res. 59, S. 18, S. 1678, and H.R. 3639. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271992/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
This report discusses the retirement systems in place for federal employees including the Civil Service Retirement System (for employees hired before 1984) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (for employees hired in 1984 or later). Both programs require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. This report also summarizes relevant legislation in the 113th Congress that would make significant changes to federal benefits and financing, including H.J.Res. 59, S. 18, S. 1678, and H.R. 3639. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287973/
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/metadc332915/
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/
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/
Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments
To compensate for the effects of inflation, Social Security recipients usually receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Benefits will be increased by 1.7% in 2015, following an increase of 1.5% in 2014. This report discusses how the COLA is determined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491378/
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/
Veterans' Benefits: Issues in the 110th Congress
This report provides a general discussion of veterans' benefits issues that are part of the legislative agenda of the 110th Congress or are likely to be of legislative interest. Among those issues are disability compensation and pensions; education benefits; homelessness; life insurance; the status or eligibility of groups such as U.S. merchant seamen and World War II Filipino veterans for veterans' benefits; Reserve and National Guard eligibility for veterans' benefits; the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; and legal representation for veterans. For each issue, an overview is provided, along with summaries of pertinent pending legislation. In addition, an overview of the benefits and their eligibility requirements, demographics for both the veteran population and the benefit population, and summary data on the FY2008 budget for veterans' benefits are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462776/
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/
Can the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Be Restored to Financial Health?
In 2003, the Bush administration made a proposal for reform to strengthen pension plan funding and the financial condition of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Various bills with the goal of reforming the PBGC were proposed in the 108th Congress but none were enacted into law. The doubling of the PBGC deficit from fiscal 2003 to fiscal 2004, has heightened awareness about the PBGC deficit situation. Congressional leaders from both parties have announced their intention to move aggressively on legislative solutions in the 109th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7394/