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OT and long, Is this True?

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Old 01-10-2002, 12:32 PM
  #1
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Post OT and long, Is this True?

Someone sent this to me, This can't be true, Could it?

Perhaps we were asking the wrong questions in this past election
year.
>
> Our Senators/Congressmen do not pay into Social Security, and,
therefore
> they do not collect from it. Social Security benefits were not
suitable
for them.
>
> They felt they should have a special plan. Many years ago they voted
in
> their benefit plan. In more recent years, no congress person has felt
the
> need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.
>
> For all practical purposes, their plan works like this:
>
> When they retire no matter how long they have been in office, they
continue
> to draw their same pay until they die, except it may be increased
from
time
> to time by the cost-of-living adjustments. For example, former
Senator
Bill
> Bradley (New Jersey) and his wife may be expected to draw
$7,900,000.00
over
> an average life span, with Mrs. Bradley drawing $275,000.00 during
the
last
> year of her life. Their cost for this excellent plan is "0," nada,
zilch.
> This little perk they voted in for themselves is free to them.
>
> You and I pick up the tab for this plan. Our tax dollars at work!
>
> Social Security, which you and I pay into every payday for our own
> retirement, with an equal amount paid in by our employer, we can
expect
to
> receive an average of $1,000 per month. We would have to collect our
> benefits for 68 years and 1 month to equal the Bradley's benefits.
>
> Imagine for a moment that you could structure a retirement plan so
> desirable, a retirement plan that worked so well, that Railroad
Employees,
> Postal Workers, and others who were not in the plan would clamor to
be
> included. This is how good Social Security could be, if only one
small
> change was made. That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece
Retirement
> Plan out from under the Senators & Congressmen. Put them into the
Social
> Security plan with! the rest of us. Watch how fast they fix it!!! If
enough
> people receive this message maybe a seed will be planted, and maybe
good
> changes will evolve.
>
> Don't forget, our girl, Hillary Rodham Clinton, now comes under this
> Congressional Retirement Plan. Talking about the Clinton's, it's
common
> knowledge that, in order for her to establish NYC residency, they
purchased
> a $1million + house in upscale Chappaqua, NY. Makes sense.
>
> Now, don't forget that they are entitled to Secret Service protection
for
> life. Still makes sense. Here is where it becomes interesting. A
residency
> had to be built in order to house the Secret Service agents. The
Clinton's
> now charge the Secret Service rent for the use of said residence and
that
> rent is just about equal to their mortgage payment, meaning that we,
the
tax
> payers, are paying the Clinton's mortgage, and it's all perfectly
legal.
>
> How many people can YOU send this to?
>
>
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Old 01-10-2002, 01:21 PM
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To the best of my (limited) knowledge that information is accurate.
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Old 01-10-2002, 01:23 PM
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I don't know about their "Golden Parachute" but the part about the Clinton's getting Secret Service protection for life is true. I checked the Secret Service web site and it said that any president and their spouse in office during or after Jan. 1, 1997 (starting with Clinton) will get lifetime protection. All others in office prior to that date will have protection for ten years.
If Hillary devorces Bill, she loses all her rights to protection. Same if Bill dies, she loses her protection after one year.
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Old 01-10-2002, 01:32 PM
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I found this and thought it would answer your question:


It pays to stay in Congress
Vet pols enjoy sweet retirement package


By Craig Linder
States News Service

WASHINGTON - As politicians fight about the best way to repair Social Security, few members of Congress are looking to change their own retirement system.

Members of Congress enjoy a generous two-pronged retirement system that combines Social Security with another, corporate-style benefit. All told, pensions for senior lawmakers can easily reach six figures.

First of all, though, put to rest the rumor that your representative in Washington doesn't have to pay into Social Security.

They pay 6.2 percent of the first $76,200 of their salary, just like everyone else. And like every other employer, the federal government matches the members' contributions - with your tax dollars, of course.

But the real sweetener comes from the two additional benefit plans that members of Congress, like all federal employees, can choose to join.

The first, called the Civil Service Retirement System, is available to members of Congress who took office before 1984. Under this plan, lawmakers receive Social Security and an annual pension based on their length of service and their highest salary while they were in Congress.

Members of Congress who are part of CSRS pay 8.4 percent of their salaries to the plan and the government matches their contribution. A lawmaker who earned the base salary of $141,300 would pay a total of $16,592 to the system - $11,868 to CSRS and $4,724 in Social Security.

Lawmakers who participate in the CSRS can choose to have their contributions and benefits from Social Security deducted from their contributions and benefits to CSRS, allowing them to take home more of their salary, but giving them fewer benefits when they retire.

The second plan, which covers most current members of Congress, is the Federal Employees Retirement System. Roughly 2.8 million active federal employees, from senators to postal workers, participate in FERS, which pays $40 billion each year to 2.4 million retirees.

Like the older congressional retirement plan, FERS provides retiring lawmakers with Social Security and a pension, but it also offers a defined-contribution plan, which is similar to a 401(k).

Lawmakers who chose FERS receive a pension based on their years of federal employment and military duty and their highest salary level. They also enjoy an annual cost-of-living increase.

Members of Congress pay 1.3 percent of their salary into the defined benefit plan and the government contributes about 11 percent of their salary to the fund each year.

A member of Congress who earns the $141,300 base salary would pay $7,125 - $4,724 to Social Security and $2,401 to FERS.

The 401(k)-like plan allows members to contribute up to 10 percent of their pre-tax salary into one of three investment plans.

Both plans allow members of Congress to retire at age 50 if they have served the government for at least 20 years, or at age 62 after five years of service.

How does Congress' retirement plan compare to the average American's? Pretty well, it would seem.

The average pension income for a retiree in 1994, the most recent year for which data is available, was $3,500, James Delaplane, a vice president with the American Benefits Council, said.

Compare that to the $50,203 annual average pension income of a retired member of Congress in 1998, according to a Congressional Research Service report. Or to former President Gerald Ford, who receives $261,000 a year in presidential and congressional pensions, according to the National Taxpayers Union.

A 1998 report to Congress said that FERS is "generous" compared to retirement plans in the private sector. According to that report, only 8 percent of private plans offer the cost-of-living increase that federal employees enjoy, and only a few allow members to retire and receive a full benefit as early as the federal plan.

Critics of government spending like the National Taxpayers Union have chafed at the "generous" retirement plans for years and have called on Congress to overhaul its system.

"The best possible thing Congress could do would be to take a page from the evolving retirement plans of the private sector and eliminate the guaranteed pension," keeping only the Social Security benefit and the 401(k)-style plan, said Pete Sepp, the vice president for communications of the Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit group.

But members of Congress have been loath to tinker with their own benefits. A drive to overhaul the system following the "Republican revolution" of 1994 quickly fizzled.


GENEROUS CONGRESSIONAL PENSIONS
The average departing senior member of congress will receive a pension of more than $1 million, according to a study by the National Taxpayers Union.
Representatives and Senators earn $133,600 annually.

For lawmakers elected before 1984, pensions are computed by multiplying the years of service by 2.5%, then multiplying that by the member's average salary for the last three years served.

For those elected after 1984, the multiplier is 1.7% - but they are entitled to a 401(k)-style pension supplement.
Retiring Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA) leads the list with lifetime benefits of $2.88 million.

Source: Laurie Kellman, "Veteran Congressmen Crafted Good Pensions," Washington Times, October
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