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Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits
This report describes the benefits Presidents receive upon leaving office, details the history of the Former Presidents Act (FPA), and analyzes some legislative options for the 110th Congress related to former Presidents.
U.S. Periods of War
Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated "periods of war," dates marking their beginning and ending. These dates are important for qualification for certain veterans' pension or disability benefits. 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.
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.
Veterans Benefits: An Overview
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wide range of benefits and services to eligible veterans, members of their families, and survivors of deceased veterans. VA programs include disability compensation and pensions, readjustment benefits, and health care programs. The VA also provides life insurance, burial benefits, housing and other loan guaranty programs, and special counseling and outreach programs. While eligibility for specific benefits varies, veterans generally must meet requirements related to discharge type and length of active duty military service. This report provides an overview of major VA benefits and the VA budget.
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.
Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
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 employers. ERISA contains various provisions intended to protect the rights of plan participants and beneficiaries in employee benefit plans. These protections include requirements relating to reporting and disclosure, participation, vesting, and benefit accrual, as well as plan funding. ERISA also regulates the responsibilities of plan fiduciaries and other issues regarding plan administration. ERISA contains various standards that a plan must meet in order to receive favorable tax treatment, and also governs plan termination. 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.
ERISA’s Impact on Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims Against Managed Care Plans
This report examines the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which provides a comprehensive federal scheme for the regulation of employee pension and welfare benefit plans offered by employers. While ERISA does not require an employer to offer pension and welfare benefits, it does mandate compliance with its provisions if such benefits are offered. Congress enacted ERISA to eliminate the conflicting and inconsistent regulation of pension and employee welfare benefit plans by state laws. The provisions at issue in the preemption debate are sections 502(a) and 514(a) of ERISA.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal government agency established in 1974 by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (P.L. 93- 406). It was created to protect the pensions of participants and beneficiaries covered by private sector, defined benefit (DB) plans. These pension plans provide a specified monthly benefit at retirement, usually either a percent of salary or a flat dollar amount multiplied by years of service. Defined contribution plans, such as §401(k) plans, are not insured. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of Treasury and Commerce serving as board members.
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
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 these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security’s benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and often unfair.
Federal Employee Retirement Programs: Budget and Trust Fund Issues
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.
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
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 these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security’s benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair.
Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency
As highlighted by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the aging of the (United States) population, hastened by the impending retirement of the huge baby-boom generation, has caused policy-makers to question whether the U.S. Social Security system can meet the demands for retirement benefits in the future. Because the current system largely pays benefits through taxes paid by current workers, the financial health of the system is sensitive to the ratio of dependents to workers—sometimes called the age dependency ratio or support ratio. Trends and projections of dependency ratios, including the relationship between both older (years 65 and older) and younger (under age 20) dependents to the working-age population in the United States are considered in the first section of this demographic report. Next, the United States is compared to nine other nations, including the seven other members of the G8. In the final section, policy implications of the changing dependent-to-worker ratios are considered in the context of pay-as-you-go (paygo) social security systems.
Summary of the Pension Protection Act of 2006
This report summarizes the main provisions of the Pension Protection Act (PPA) as they affect single-employer defined benefit plans, multiemployer defined benefit plans, and defined contribution plans.
H.R. 4: The Pension Protection Act
This report discusses the Pension Protection Act (PPA) reforms and the funding rules for defined benefit pensions; requires employers to disclose more information about pension funding; restricts benefit payments and accruals in underfunded plans; and clarifies, prospectively, that cash balance pension plans do not violate legal prohibitions on age discrimination in employee benefits.
Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends
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Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends
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Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends
According to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), the number of private-sector workers between the ages of 25 and 64 whose employer sponsored a retirement plan fell from 53.1 million in 2004 to 52.5 million in 2005. This report analyzes the Current Population Survey and describes several elements, including: 1) the percentage of workers whose employer sponsored a retirement plan; 2) the percentage of workers who participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan; 3) the likelihood of black, Hispanic, and other non-white workers to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan; and 4) the percentage of part-year or part-time workers in the private sector whose employer sponsored a retirement plan.
The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 authorized a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for eligible individuals who contribute to an IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The maximum credit is 50% of retirement contributions up to $2,000. This credit can reduce the amount of taxes owed, but the tax credit itself is non-refundable. The maximum credit is the lesser of either $1,000 or the tax that the individual would have owed without the credit. Eligibility is based on the taxpayer's adjusted gross income. The eligible income brackets are not indexed to inflation. Taxpayers under age 18 or who are full-time students are not eligible for the credit.
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
The military retirement system includes benefits for retirement after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement, and survivor benefits for eligible survivors of deceased retirees. The change to the system that has generated the most recent legislative activity involves whether some or all military retirees should be allowed to receive both military retired pay and any VA disability compensation to which they are otherwise entitled; this is referred to as "concurrent receipt." Starting in 1999 (FY2000), provisions in each year's annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized payments to comparatively small groups (in the tens of thousands) of military retirees in lieu of concurrent receipt. The most significant military retirement issue Congress dealt with in 2005 was whether military retirees with a 100% VA unemployability rating, but less than a 100% disability rating, should be entitled to full concurrent receipt as was provided to 100% disability retirees in 2004.
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: Trends from 2001 to 2004
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The Market for Retirement Annuities
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.
Periods of War
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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
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969
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.
Military Death Benefits: Status and Proposals
This report describes the various death benefits from the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Social Security available to certain survivors of members of the Armed Forces who die on active duty.
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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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.
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
No Description Available.
S. 1783: The Pension Security and Transparency Act of 2005
From Summary: "This report summarizes the major provisions of S. 1783, the Pension Security and Transparency Act 2005. The bill combines provisions of S. 219, the National Employee Savings and Trust Equity Guarantee Act, reported by the Finance Committee, and the Defined Benefit Security Act, reported by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions."
Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities
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.
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2006
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Retirement Plan Participation and Contributions: Trends from 1998 to 2003
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Social Security Survivors Benefits
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S. 1783: The Pension Security and Transparency Act of 2005
On September 28, the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions announced that they had reached a compromise on a pension reform bill for consideration by the full Senate. The compromise bill has been introduced as S. 1783, “The Pension Security and Transparency Act of 2005.” S. 1783 combines provisions of S. 219, “The National Employee Savings and Trust Equity Guarantee Act,” reported by the Finance Committee, and “The Defined Benefit Security Act,” reported by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. This report summarizes the major provisions of the compromise bill, as announced by the chairmen and ranking members of the two committees.
Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends
No Description Available.
S. 219: The National Employee Savings and Trust Equity Guarantee Act
On July 26, 2005, the Senate Finance Committee approved S. 219, the “National Employee Savings and Trust Equity Guarantee (NESTEG) Act of 2005,” a bill to reform federal pension laws. This report summarizes the major provisions of the bill, as approved by the Committee.
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Cash Balance Pension Plans: Selected Legal Issues
Over the past few years, cash balance pension plans have received significant attention. In particular, three issues have been controversial: the negative effect of a plan conversion on older employees due to wear-away, the whipsaw effect that may occur when computing a lump-sum payment of benefits prior to normal retirement age, and the claim that these plans violate federal laws prohibiting age discrimination. This report discusses the wear-away and whipsaw issues, a proposal by the Treasury Department that addresses them, and relevant legislation introduced in the 109th Congress (H.R. 2830 and S. 1304).
Individual Accounts: What Rate of Return Would They Earn?
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Pension Issues Cloud Postal Reform Debate
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H.R. 2830: The Pension Protection Act of 2005
No Description Available.
Defined Benefit Pension Reform for Single-Employer Plans
This report includes quantitative analysis based on regulatory filings by pension plans for 2001 and 2002 to provide an assessment of the number of plans that might be affected by certain elements of the Administration proposal. It also summarizes the reaction to the Administration proposal by business and labor. The report also includes an illustration of the effect on a hypothetical plan sponsor’s plan contribution and funded ratio of the credit balance approach used in current law versus the Administration proposal. This report focuses on single-employer plans.
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Military Death Benefits: Status and Proposals
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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