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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2010
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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: Pension COLAs and Pay Adjustments Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pension COLAs and Pay Adjustments Since 1969

Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: 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.
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Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC) Programs

Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC) Programs

Date: June 17, 2010
Creator: Moulta-Ali, Umar
Description: This report seeks to clarify why one group of individuals with disabilities may be eligible for benefits under Veteran's Disability Compensation (VDC), but ineligible for benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (and vice versa), through a description and comparison of several distinguishing characteristics of the SSDI and VDC programs. This report concludes with a discussion of the challenges facing the administration of both programs, including processing delays for pending claims and appeals.
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Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Date: May 17, 2010
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn & Shelton, Alison M.
Description: Social Security benefits received before a person attains full retirement age (FRA) are subject to an actuarial reduction for early retirement and also may be reduced by the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (RET) if the beneficiary has earnings that exceed an annual threshold. This report explains how the RET is applied under current law and provides detailed benefit examples to show how the RET affects both the worker beneficiary and any family members (auxiliary beneficiaries) who receive benefits based on the worker beneficiary’s record. The report points out features of the RET that are not widely known or understood, such as the recomputation of benefits when a beneficiary attains FRA to adjust (increase) benefits to take into account months for which no benefit or a partial benefit was paid as a result of the RET. Finally, the report discusses policy issues related to the RET, including recent research on the effect of the RET on work effort and the decision to claim Social Security benefits.
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Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 29, 2010
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
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Social Security: Revisiting Benefits for Spouses and Survivors

Social Security: Revisiting Benefits for Spouses and Survivors

Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Shelton, Alison M. & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report describes the current-law structure of auxiliary benefits for spouses, divorced spouses and surviving spouses. It also discusses some of the issues concerning the adequacy and equity of the current-law structure of auxiliary benefits, and presents some recent proposals.
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Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie
Description: This report discusses the Social Security taxes that are levied on covered earnings up to a maximum level set each year. In 2010, this maximum—or what is referred to as the taxable earnings base—is $106,800.
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