Press Release: Dennis Ross Introduces Legislation to Reduce Congressional Pension Costs and Bring Private Sector Reforms to the Federal Workforce
HR 3813 Set to Reform Congressional Pensions, Reform the Federal Workforce & Save Taxpayers Tens of Billions of Dollars
Feb 2, 2012 -
Lakeland, FL – Congressman Dennis A. Ross (R-FL) recently held a hearing on reforming Congressional pensions and ensuring that Members of Congress are treated no differently than the rest of the federal workforce. The hearing explored options in reforming the entire federal pension system, Congress included, to bring it more in line with the private sector workforce. At the hearing, Chairman Ross introduced HR 3813 to make the reforms discussed in the hearing, a reality.
HR 3813 would:
- Move Federal Employees and Members of Congress into a "high five year" pension system for calculating their annuity
- Force Members of Congress to pay more for their pensions than the rest of the federal workforce
- Bring the Federal Workforce more in line with the private sector and most State pension systems
- Calculate Congressional Pensions using the same formula as the rest of the Federal Workforce
- Save the taxpayers tens of billions of dollars
After the hearing, Congressman Ross said, “Since I was elected in 2010, whenever asked by constituents what the greatest challenge facing this Congress is, I always answer ‘credibility.’ The American people rightfully demand in their elected Representatives a willingness to live under the laws they pass. They are tired of the perks and hypocrisy they witness in their Congress. As representatives of the people we serve, Congress should live under the same rules as everyone else.”
Congressman Ross went on to say, “The American people are also, rightfully, outraged by the pension benefits guaranteed to a bloated federal workforce, paid for through an ever increasing tax burden on the American worker. Too many hard working Americans watched their pensions evaporate because of unsustainable promises. There is a way to ensure value to the taxpayer and security to the worker, both private and public sector, through a more affordable defined contribution pension system. As Congress looks for ways to cut costs, pension reform that ensures a positive return to the worker while delivering cost savings to the taxpayer, should be job one.”
Contrary to chain emails and popular belief, Congress does not receive 100% of their salary as a pension for life, upon serving one term in Congress. Not even close. However, Members of Congress receive better pension benefits than the rest of the federal workforce, and better than most citizens in the private sector.
In addition, federal civilian retirement obligations cost taxpayers more than $100 billion per year for current federal employees with costs rising 151% since 2000. In addition, the federal civilian retirement system is estimated to have $673 billion in unfunded potential liabilities.