Millionaires Make Proposals to ‘Fix’ Your Pension Plan
The New York Times reported three years ago that “for the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the House and Senate are all millionaires.” This is fantastic news, right? Maybe. Maybe not.
For them to be rich, then that must mean that they are either very intelligent, or extremely fortunate, or both. If so many of them are millionaires, they will not stand in the way of the rest of us trying to succeed, right?
Or do they look down on the masses who have not quite figured it out, or haven’t had the education, or have found a lucky break?
What are the possibilities that the House and Senate will assure that benefits, like retirement and healthcare, will be taken care of for the 2 million plus federal workers in the executive, legislative and judicial divisions of government?
Most Congress members are set for life. They are under a customized form of the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System that replaced it in the mid-1980s. Many can comfortably retire on life-time annuities that go up as inflation increases, and it even proceeds beyond their death and in turn, provides a survivors benefits for loved ones.
While they elected to keep the Federal Employees Health Benefits System with the advancement of the Cost-effective Good care Act, the Workplace of Personnel Management decided, with a recommendation from Congress, that the government would proceed to pay the lion’s share of their health premiums. That amount (about 72 percent) continues to stay the same no matter how much premiums increase each year for federal-postal and retired individuals, or for members of the legislature in their special D.C. exchange.
The mindset of members of Congress could be a factor in the few remaining 2017 workdays Congress will have after it returns next. Your pension plan is one of the main items on its plate. The CSRS, FERS or CSRS Offset retirement plans. There are serious proposals to strike the programs, to cut future advantages, decrease or eliminate protection against inflation, and require workers to pay more for their retirement. One proposal is included to drop the FERS program completely for future hires and restrict them to Social Security and whatever they manage to set aside with an improved 401(k) plan (the Thrift Saving Plan).
The Congressional Budget Office released a review on five of the prospective changes, which if introduced, would also apply to CBO workers. After reviewing, you may want to get in touch with the wealthy individuals who ‘represent’ you and let them know you have not made it to millionaire status, but you do live, work, and elect in their regions.