Republican bill would eliminate federal pensions for new hires

Republican Senators have introduced a bill that would eliminate FERS pensions for new federal hires. Employees would still get a 5% matching contribution to their Thrift Savings Plan, and retiree health benefits. (The Senators note that the law would also apply to members of Congress- although given how wealthy most of them are, it’s doubtful they would notice the difference.)

Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), along with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), introduced the Public-Private Employee Retirement Act of 2011 to address long-term liabilities facing the federal government. The legislation would end the defined benefit pension portion of the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) for new federal government hires starting in 2013, leaving fully in place the Thrift Savings Plan with the current match (up to 5%) for both current and future federal workers. The bill would also apply to Members of Congress.

via Richard Burr, United States Senator of North Carolina: Press Releases.

  • jacob

    it is about time !

  • cindy

    were going broke, i cant believe
    they still get annuities.

  • Rob

    With the saved FERS retirement deduction, you could invest it in the TSP. But what would happen to the USPS matching FERS retirement amount? Shouldn’t they place that in the TSP for new hires?

  • Pistol

    Rob, aren’t you being a little selfish? The proposed legislation is to SAVE money, not spend it. If there is no more FERS for new hirees, then there would be no more matching funds for FERS. And if we would have had some balls in Congress back in the 80’s we would still have the CSRS.

  • Thinker

    Only if new Congressmen get the same, no pensions. Remember they are not suppose to implement rules for others unless they themselves get it first!!!!!!!

  • Constance

    You are going to still pay into Social Security and your contributions to the portion of your retirement that does not go into SS is not going to solve anything and no they are not going to put that little savings into TSP. I think Congress needs a lesson or comprehend retirement.

  • Yoshi

    That sounds great take more off the people that need a retirement. Instead of taking away retirement how about fixing the real problem, wasteful spending. Some people in gov. Do get paid to much, but that’s not the real problem. Wasteful spend is. Renting building an cars that are never used. Paying crazy price for contracts and supplies. And also making up jobs for people that do nothing.

  • loco

    Guess no one will retire at 55 or 59 or 62 or 65 or 67 more like 70 ….a long time to hump a mail sack….but you get what you voted for.

  • Mr. B

    How about starting with eliminating lifetime pensions to Congressmen who only serve one term? How about eliminating career politicians who are more worried about keeping their job than doing their job?

  • bob

    the republicans like sen coburn want no middle class in the us instead they want there to be only the haves and have nots.the us will becone a second class country if good public service is disrespect with poor wages and benefits.it is criminal that warren buffet pays a lower federal tax rate than his administrative assistant.stop giving billions to foreign governments and realize the us cant continue to be the worlds policeman. is a second great depression in this nations future?

  • mike

    good thing we dont take tax payer money

  • brian

    mike- It doesn’t matter- we weren’t taking taxpayer money when we were forced to switch from CSRS to FERS, either.

  • letter carrier too

    none of the money in retirement funds is tax payer money it has however been robbed by politicans to show lower deficts

  • J C

    How about making members of congress work 30 years before getting a pension. If they work one term no retirement. Might make them think of everyone else instead of themselves

  • Hef

    Who else thinks that Pistol is a tool?

  • fuzzy math

    The current FERS system would collapse in future years once the new employee contributions and the employer contributions cease. Despite reassurances by OMB, the system needs ongoing contributions to survive.

  • Bob

    I would like to agree that congress should take a cut in pay and retirement if there work 20 years. If they cut the second class then they should take a cut as much as there do to others.

  • I Don’t Know Anymore

    I have a question for postal workers. What is the most you have ever been paid to get a piece of local service area mail, or a piece of Priority mail, (that has been incorrectly routed) delivered on time? You know the ones that comprise our EXFC and scanning scores.

  • In Limbo

    When will we address military pension retirement after twenty years of service, complete with total health care and tax free commissary purchases?

  • just me

    Idiots seem to forget that the FERS pension is peanuts and is half what the CSRS annuity was . Get your facts straight!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I Don’t Know Anymore

    Please don’t tell me you think that our military deserve any less. They deserve it more than anyone. Twenty years of sacrifice, that is one thing that I don’t mind my tax money going for. God bless our military, and their families. Good thing for them, at least we can choose where we work, only because of them!

  • louisiana strong

    Mr. B said it … how about eliminating lifetime pensions to congressmen and career politicians that are not doing their jobs but just worried about keeping their jobs. I can’t believe Nancy Pelosi is still in, didn’t we oust her long ago?

  • joe

    Don’t expect much sympathy from the public they all think federal employees are rich. Senators never needed pensions to begin with. There all independently wealthy. The public hates the Government and most of the public does not have pensions either. 401k plans are a joke. If you have a good market the most you could hope for is to retire by the time your 70. 401k plans never lived up to their promise. Were entering a new age. A work till you die age. No one will be retiring and thats just the way it is. One thing is certain this nation and it’s people will get what they deserve. No one will want to work for the Government, the only benefit now is the retirement plans. Not to mention special retirements like law enforcement. Your not going to be able to retain federal law enforcement officers who often have a provision of retiring after 20 years due to the rigors of the job. It makes sense really. No one wants a 50 or 60 year old cop trying to arrest a 20 year old thug. But thats whats going to happen. I think were seeing the first breaks in our society. Rome fell not from any foreign enemy but Rome fell from within. I’m not saying that the Government can afford to pay for the pensions but if it can’t it’s a bad sign for our future. I have a friend who thinks the end of the United States Is Near. Perhaps he’s right. Good Day, Joe.

  • joe

    Me and my wife are now Democrats and I will never vote Republican Again. Federal Employees and State Employees have become the scape goat for a bad economy. Never mind the rich Wal-Street fat cats who destroyed this nation. I am more disgusted with this Government than ever before. Not only do the Republicans want to dismantle Federal Employees Retirement System they have fed in to half truths and misconception and myths about Government Employees and worked the public into a furor. The average citizen has no idea who the average federal employee is or how much the average federal employee makes. They just assume we make the same salare as senators. How about 45,000 per year. Thats the average pay for a federal employee. But it’s a lost cause. No one cares. I’m nearly 50 with over 25 years of federal service. To old to start over. I’ll try to correct my mistake in the next election and hope that to much is not damaged before then. I’m just tired of beating a dead horse. No one cares. America is no longer the nation I thought it was. Good Day, Joe.

  • Ronnie

    There are many out there who would like a job…period…as long as they know and understand the terms of employment up front, than who’s to say that person wouldn’t be perfectly amenable to it…I venture to wager that a job with the USPS for new hires (even if it were with this stipulations) would be far better than say working at McDonald’s or Walmart….time changes things for all businesses, especially those as large as the Postal Service…adaptation is critical…

  • Mel

    Hey Joe, guess you shouldn’t have been listening to Limbaugh, Hannity and their cronies all these years. Hurts when it is you they turn their BS half truths on doesn’t it? Ever heard the expression “too little, too late”? The Republicans have effectively dismantled the middle class and you can either be a slave owner or a slave. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. You reap what you sow….

  • Rich

    It is truly amazing how many Federal Workers are Republicans and vote that way only to cut their own throat. I am a Federal employee, and as I have tried to tell my fellow co-workers for years, one day the crap that the Republicans have been spewing will eventually come to haunt you. That day has come, and now the employees that I tried so hard to warn about this day are now very worried what may happen to them. They have learned that this is not just politics anymore, it has become personal for the Republicans to destroy even the people that elected them. If you haven’t figured it out by now you will never ever figure it out. They do not care about you the Federal, State or Local Government employee, they are for the wealthy and will do anything and everything to accommodate those constituants. They use Pro-Life and no rights for gays to get the Christian vote. George Bush held office for 8 years, one of his platforms that he ran on was to overturn Roe vs Wade. The Republicans had control for 6 years with Bush, never tried to change any law regarding Abortion. Mess with gay rights are you kidding, half of the Republicans were gay. Dick Cheney wouldn’t let Bush go there because of his Lesbian Daughter. The Rich vote for them because of tax breaks, and they get them only to run the country deeper in to debt. The poor vote for them because if they get a $1.00 a year tax break it is worth it. The rednecks vote for them because dem dere democrats are going to take my guns, and because like my redneck self at one time just plain ill-informed and ignorant. One day I saw the light, I wish I had not at times, because I as so many see how ignorant the views of these people are. My mother has leukemia. She gets my fathers retirement which comes to about 1200 a month. He passed. She lives in a one bedroom apartment. My brother gave her a car. She can barely put gas in it. My brothers and I try and help her with exspenses, food etc. My point is this is barely minimun wage. How is a family of three, four, etc. going to live off minimum wage. This brings me to the point that for over 6 years the Republicans would not approve the minimum wage. It took the Democrats taking control Bush’s last two years to get this accomplished. The Republicans voted it down every time. Think about it Republicans could you live off of this? Probably so, but what a miserable life just because you are voting against your interest. Wake up as I did. If you are not a millionare you are a Democrat you just haven’t figured it out yet. Hope you will before it is really too late as it may be already. If this comment put you in a fit of rage I understand I was once there myself. Educate yourself, that does not mean to watch Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the likes 24 hours a day. Find Articles that are neutral like Factcheck.org. Again if you are not a millionare you are a Democrat you are just going to have to suck it up and live with it. It’s easy, Democrats are working people and Republicans tell the working people where to live how to live how much money they can make and so on. Republicans like to tell people that they are the party of morals and Patriotism. It’s funny I served my country and was captured by terrorist and escaped. But I guess because now that I am a Democrat I am not a Patriot. The truth is that most people that spew this nonsense never served a day in their lives. I guess all we can do is pray for the people that are so called morally right. Wait did I say pray, yes I did, that’s right I am a Democratic Christian figure that one out you crazy so called morally right wingers that call yourself christians but would kill all people that are not like you. I call the Republican Party the Party of hate because that is all you hear from them. How can you call yourselves christians and have so much hatred. I only went into all of this to remind you of all the things that you voted for that your Republican legislatures either never delivered on or screwed you over so bad that you didn’t even know it. Hope you got something positive out of it. Just think about you and your family when you go to the polls. The next election will be very important. If you are a Government Employee you better really think about your choices and how it will affect you and your family. If Wisconsin hasn’t taught you a lesson you do not care about youself or your families future. It was very hard for me to switch parties years ago, but I did and it has been one of the best things I ever did for me and my family. Hope you will make the right decision before we are all standing in the unemployment line that the Republicans are also trying to get rid of. I met with Senator Richard Burr several weeks ago in Washington. Very Intellectual man. I was impressed with his knowledge of the Federal workforce. We actually spoke about the FERS program. Never did he mention that he was going to introduce or had introduced legislation that would eliminate this Retirement for future employees. If you are having a conversation with someone pertaining to a certain subject wouldn’t you expect your counterpart to reveal any new information pertinent to that subject? Maybe not, I am just a constituant that might have voted for him, therefore I do not matter I am not a lobbyist bringing millions to his pocket. GET IT NOW!!!!

  • tjmadd

    As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants’ contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2 percent of their salary in Social Security taxes.

    Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they’ve completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Members of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to even receive a pension.

    The amount of a congressperson’s pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.

    According to the Congressional Research Service, 413 retired Members of Congress were receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of Oct. 1, 2006. Of this number, 290 had retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $60,972. A total of 123 Members had retired with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Their average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006