Congressional Research Service Reports - 51 Matching Results

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Automatic Enrollment in Section 401(k) Plans

Description: This report discusses enrollment practices for 401k retirement plans. Historically, most employers that have sponsored retirement savings plans under §401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) have required employees to decide whether to enroll in the plan. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued rulings to inform employers that current law allows them to enroll employees automatically, provided that the employee is notified in advance and is permitted to leave the plan.
Date: October 14, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

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.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Henning, Charles A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Death Benefits: Status and Proposals

Description: 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.
Date: January 24, 2006
Creator: Burrelli, David F & Corwell, Jennifer R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

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.
Date: May 19, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Staman, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Market for Retirement Annuities

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.
Date: May 18, 2006
Creator: Ranade, Neela K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Description: 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.
Date: April 10, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Staman, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008: An Overview

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.
Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: Staman, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Funding Postal Service Obligations to the Civil Service Retirement System

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.
Date: January 2, 2003
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Stevens, Nye
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pension Issues: Lump-Sum Distributions and Retirement Income Security

Description: This report covers several issues regarding pensions. Forty-seven percent of all workers aged 21 and older participated in employer-sponsored retirement plans in 2006, but not all of these workers will receive a pension or other income from these plans when they retire.
Date: January 7, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues

Description: This report discusses various proposed changes to the military retirement system, which includes benefits for retirement after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement, and survivor benefits for eligible survivors of deceased retirees. Major issues include 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 -- referred to as "concurrent receipt" -- whether some military personnel should be entitled to military retired pay with less than 20 years of service, and whether many more personnel should serve well past the 20-year point before retiring.
Date: October 21, 2003
Creator: Goldich, Robert L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Veterans' Pensions: Fact Sheet

Description: This report discusses veterans' pensions, which are monthly cash payments made to qualified veterans or survivors so that their total income from all countable sources reach specified annual levels and are administered by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).
Date: February 26, 2001
Creator: Snook, Dennis W. & Alice D. Butler
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Salaries and Allowances

Description: This report provides basic information on congressional salaries and allowances. First, the report briefly summarizes the current salary of Members of Congress, limits on their outside earned income and honoraria, and applicable health insurance and retirement benefits. Second, it provides information on allowances available to Representatives and Senators to support them in their official and representational duties as Members. Third, it provides the salaries and allowances available to the Speaker of the House and the Vice President, as President of the Senate, and lists the salaries of congressional officers and officials and committee staff.
Date: August 5, 2004
Creator: Dwyer, Paul E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employee Retirement Programs: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

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.
Date: March 14, 2007
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employee Retirement Programs: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

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.
Date: May 24, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Individual Retirement Accounts: A Fact Sheet

Description: This report discusses general information about individual retirement accounts (IRAs), established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-406) to promote retirement saving; the accounts were limited at first to workers (and spouses) who lacked employer pension coverage.
Date: February 22, 2001
Creator: Graney, Paul J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet

Description: This report discusses the saver's tax credit, under which eligible individuals receive a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for contributing to a traditional IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan that is qualified under §401, §403 or §457 of the Internal Revenue Code. The credit was first available in 2002 but will expire after 2006 unless extended by Congress.
Date: April 1, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency

Description: 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.
Date: October 27, 2006
Creator: Shrestha, Laura B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

H.R. 4: The Pension Protection Act

Description: 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.
Date: September 27, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

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 these workers would otherwise receive because Social Security’s benefit formula is weighted such that workers with low lifetime earnings receive a greater share of their covered earnings in benefits than workers with medium or high lifetime earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
Date: May 11, 2009
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department