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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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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Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits

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

Date: March 16, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: This report provides a legislative and cultural history of the Former Presidents Act. It considers the potential effects of maintaining the FPA or amending the FPA in ways that might reduce or otherwise modify a former President's benefits.
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Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Date: May 28, 2014
Creator: Burrelli, David F. & Salazar Torreon, Barbara
Description: This report discusses the noncontributory military retirement system which 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.
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Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Date: July 27, 2010
Creator: Henning, Charles A.
Description: 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.
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Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: February 26, 2010
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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Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: February 13, 2015
Creator: Moulta-Ali, Umar & Davis, Carol D.
Description: This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels, and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
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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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Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions

Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions

Date: January 13, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Description: This report contains a table that lists the number of retired Members of Congress and the average amount of congressional pension they receive in retirement.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Bills in the 107th Congress

Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Bills in the 107th Congress

Date: March 28, 2002
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: In the wake of the bankruptcy of Enron Corporation, numerous bills have been introduced in the 107th Congress with the intent of protecting workers from the financial losses that employees risk when they invest a large proportion of their retirement savings in securities issued by their employers. Legislative proposals include some that would directly regulate the proportion of employees’ retirement savings that can be comprised of employer securities, and others that would encourage education of employees on financial matters without imposing a cap on employee investment in employer securities.
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Pensions and Retirement Saving Plans: Comparison of H.R. 1776 with Current Law

Pensions and Retirement Saving Plans: Comparison of H.R. 1776 with Current Law

Date: October 3, 2003
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Funding Postal Service Obligations to the Civil Service Retirement System

Funding Postal Service Obligations to the Civil Service Retirement System

Date: March 28, 2003
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J & Stevens, Nye
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine & Davis, Carol D.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: January 4, 2011
Creator: Scott, Christine & Davis, Carol D.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: December 13, 2011
Creator: Scott, Christine & Davis, Carol D.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: June 29, 2015
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P. & Davis, Carol D.
Description: This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels, and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: September 9, 2015
Creator: Szymendera, Scott D. & Davis, Carol D.
Description: This report discusses selected veteran pension programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This report also discusses the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels of these programs and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees

Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees

Date: April 7, 2014
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Date: March 24, 2014
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the two retirement systems: (1) the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) for individuals hired before 1984, and (2) the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) for individuals hired in 1984 or later.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Worker Participation in Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Fact Sheet

Worker Participation in Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Fact Sheet

Date: March 26, 2014
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: The main part of this report is a fact sheet that provides data on the percentage of American workers who have access to and who participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. The data was collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through the National Compensation Survey (NCS).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department