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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): A Primer

Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): A Primer

Date: April 27, 2016
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: This report describes the primary features of two common retirement savings accounts that are available to individuals: traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). In response to concerns over the adequacy of retirement savings, Congress has created incentives to encourage individuals to save more for retirement through a variety of retirement plans. Some retirement plans are employer-sponsored, such as 401(k) plans, and others are established by individual employees, such as IRAs.
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Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: May 25, 2016
Creator: Morton, William R.
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 small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment. The report provides information about how the provision works, who is affected, history and rationale, impacts, and relevant legislation.
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Who Is a "Veteran"?--Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits

Who Is a "Veteran"?--Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits

Date: May 25, 2016
Creator: Szymendera, Scott D.
Description: This report examines the basic eligibility criteria for VA administered veterans' benefits, including the issue of eligibility of members of the National Guard and reserve components. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a broad range of benefits to U.S. Armed Forces veterans and certain members of their families. Among these benefits are various types of financial assistance, including monthly cash payments to disabled veterans, health care, education, and housing.
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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: April 6, 2016
Creator: Kamarck, Kristy N.
Description: This report discusses the military retirement system. The system currently includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees.
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Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: March 11, 2016
Creator: Szymendera, Scott D.
Description: This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues.
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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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Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Date: September 27, 2012
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’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Date: January 10, 2013
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the two retirement systems for federal employees: (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.
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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 Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Date: January 14, 2011
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 Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Date: January 4, 2012
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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Qualified Charitable Distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts: Features and Legislative History

Qualified Charitable Distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts: Features and Legislative History

Date: February 4, 2015
Creator: Topoleski, John J. & Sidor, Gary
Description: A provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-280) allows tax-free distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) for charitable purposes. This report describes the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) provision.
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Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 18, 2011
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: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: April 16, 2014
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report discusses 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 small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: February 15, 2013
Creator: Scott, Christine
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 the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 8, 2013
Creator: Scott, Christine
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP) 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: June 30, 2015
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP) 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 small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fee Disclosure in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans: Background and Legislation

Fee Disclosure in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans: Background and Legislation

Date: January 29, 2010
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: This report provides information on the kinds of fees that are charged in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans and details the provisions of bills introduced in the 111th Congress that address fee disclosure in retirement plans.
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Federal Reserve: Dividends Paid to Commercial Banks

Federal Reserve: Dividends Paid to Commercial Banks

Date: October 28, 2015
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Murphy, M. M.
Description: This report briefly provides background on dividends paid to banks by the Federal Reserve (Fed), which would be reduced in the Senate-passed highway trust fund bill (H.R. 22) as a budgetary offset.
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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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