Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends

Description: This report begins by describing the change in the age distribution of the U.S. population that will occur between 2010 and 2030 and by summarizing the historical data on the labor force participation of older workers. This discussion is followed by an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) on employment and receipt of pension income among persons aged 55 and older.
Date: September 16, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Description: 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.
Date: January 15, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007

Description: This report discusses various issues that impact the retirement income of Americans. About half of all workers in the United States participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan of some kind, a proportion that has remained relatively stable over the past thirty years. Because the majority of assets held in retirement accounts are invested in stocks, trends in stock prices have a significant impact on households' retirement account balances.
Date: April 8, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Topoleski, John J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civil Service Retirement Bills in the 106th Congress

Description: Among the civil service retirement issues addressed in bills introduced thus far in the 106th Congress are the correction of retirement coverage errors for federal employees assigned to the wrong retirement system; immediate eligibility for federal employees to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP); improved portability of pension benefits; and repeal of the temporary increase in employee retirement contributions that was mandated by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Other bills would expand TSP eligibility to include members of the armed services; improve pension coverage for temporary and part-time federal employees; and designate several categories of federal employees as law enforcement officers for purposes of determining their retirement benefits.
Date: June 28, 2000
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Description: 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.
Date: October 19, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Description: 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.
Date: October 18, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: March 28, 2002
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security

Description: 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.
Date: July 12, 2002
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security

Description: 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.
Date: January 28, 2003
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Description: Pay increases for current federal employees and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired federal employees often differ because they are based on changes in different economic variables. Increases in pay for civilian federal workers are indexed to wage and salary increases in the private-sector, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI), while federal retirement and disability benefits are indexed to price increases as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This report discusses the procedures for determining such increases.
Date: February 9, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Description: Pay increases for current federal employees and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired federal employees often differ because they are based on changes in different economic variables. Increases in pay for civilian federal workers are indexed to wage and salary increases in the private-sector, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI), while federal retirement and disability benefits are indexed to price increases as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This report discusses the procedures for determining such increases.
Date: January 21, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2000: Analysis of Census Bureau Data

Description: This report examines recent trends in retirement saving and the policy implications. The aging of the American population and the impending retirement of the "baby boom" will place significant strains over the next several decades on both Social Security and on retirees' own financial resources. With continued increases in average life expectancies, retirees in the 21st century will have to stretch their savings and other assets over longer periods of retirement than were experienced by their parents and grandparents.
Date: December 12, 2002
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department