Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions

CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS W eb
Brief F acts About Congressional Pensions
Patrick J. Purcell
Specialist i n Social Legislation
Domestic Social Policy Division
This report lists the n u m b e r o f r etired Members of C ongress and t he average
amount of congressional p ension they recei ve in retirement. It is updated annually.
Brief Facts About Congressional P ensions
(as o f October 1 , 2002)
Av erage Av erage years
Number o fa a nnua lb of creditablec Av eraged Av erage e
me mb e r s pensio n service age co nt ribut io ns
Memb ers/fo rmer Memb ers with
annuity beginning in FY2002f
Und e r CSRS ........... 2g $35,544 13.7 63.9 $36,547
Und er FERS ........... 3 $17,592 12.9 58.7 $26,116
Memb ers/fo rmer Memb ers with
annuity beginning in FY2001f
Und e r CSRS .......... 13g $71,112 24.3 68.2 $113,168
Und er FERS .......... 18 $31,500 15.8 64.1 $ 29,048
All r etired Memb ers
(as o f 10/1/2002)f
Und e r CSRS ......... 340g $55,788 20.0 77.0 $60,186
Und er FERS .......... 71 $41,856 18.7 69.2 $34,341
Source: U.S. Office of P ersonnel M anagement.
a Data includ e o nly former M embers currently receiving congr essional pensions.
b Fo r Members retiring in 2001, amount shown is 2001 pensio n. Fo r all others, amo unt is 2002 pensio n.
c Cr ed itab le ser vice includ es co ngr essio nal, active d uty militar y, a nd o the r fed er al civilian ser vice.
d For newly retired Memb ers, average age at retirement; fo r all retired Memb ers, average age on 10/1/02.
e T o tal lifetime c o ntr ib utio ns the M emb e r p aid into the r e tir ement system, includ ing p ayme nts to b o th CSRS
CSRS is the Civil Service Retir ement System. Congr e ss enacted the CSRS for executive b ranch
employees in 1920 and extended it to Members of Co ngr ess in 1946. T he CSRS was closed to new
particip ants as of January 1, 1984, when P . L. 98-21 requir ed So cial Security coverage fo r all
Memb ers o f Congr ess and new federal wo rkers first hired o n o r after that date.
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
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g FERS is the Federal Employees Retirement system. Co ngr ess e nacted the FERS to c oordina te with Social
Security cove rage . M embers who had been cove red und er the CSRS c ould elect to switch to the ne w
FERS duringopen seasons held in 1987 and 1998, or could remain in the CSRS.
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