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Do Senators & congressman pay into/collect social security?

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RamblingRose Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 08:16 AM
Original message
Do Senators & congressman pay into/collect social security?
somebody just sent me the following information in an email, and I was wondering if anyone out there could verify it for me.


SOCIAL SECURITY:


Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own 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, they continue to draw the same pay until they die. Except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments.

For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.

This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries.

Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age, will receive much more during the rest of their lives.

Their cost for this excellent plan is$0.00. NADA....ZILCH....

This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds;

"OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK"!

From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into,-every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer)-we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement.

Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) monthto equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.

That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.
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fishguy Donating Member (373 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yes, they have since 1984
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. when in doubt, try snopes
http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/pensions.asp

<snip> # It is not true that Congressmen do not pay into the Social Security fund. They pay into the fund just as most everyone else does. (A few odd exceptions to the Social Security program still exist, both inside and outside of government.)

Evidently, prior to 1984, they did not pay into SS but did pay into a seperate civil servants' retirement fund. This one has been making the rounds for several years. I was waiting for it to surface again this year and sure enough, I got it in the email yesterday too.

<snip> It is not true that Congressmen "continue to draw their same pay, until they die." The size of their pensions is determined by a number of factors (primarily length of service, but also factors such as when they joined Congress, their age at retirement, their salary, and the pension options they chose when they enrolled in the retirement system) and by law cannot exceed 80% of their salary at the time of their retirement.
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Sven77 Donating Member (645 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. i just got this from a friend
i just got this from a friend, nice to be able to give a proper response. the sooner urban legends are squashed the better.
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YNGW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
4. I knew they paid in...
... but I remember reading somewhere that they are able to take a portion of what they pay into SS and invest it in stocks, bonds, etc..., which is something you and I are not allowed to do. This "investment feature" I believe is true of several types of federal employees, though I don't have a list of who.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. nope -there is a savings plan with investment choice-just like some 401k's
GOP bull is following on the internet - as always.

Who needs Rush and Fox if the spam email tells you the lies!
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. It is a very good plan
It's actually the same plan that all federal employees are eligible for.
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YNGW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. No.
Edited on Fri Jan-16-04 10:04 AM by YNGW
This was specifically allowing the individual Congressperson to take a portion of what they would normally have paid into SS and to invest it for themselves. Trying to remember over the past few minutes since I originally posted, and I'm 90%+ sure I read in in "Roll Call". The reason I remember is because the argument was being made by some that if it was good enough for Congress, why isn't it good enough for everyone else. But it's been a year or so ago since it appeared.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Sorry - but this is an old Hoax - even Henry Hyde - below - debunks it!
The "Congressional retirement plan" is a bogus story. Congress gets the standard government retirement plan that everybody else in Washington gets. And, yes, they pay into it.
Go to the General Accounting Office and see for yourself.


Congressman Henry Hyde reply about Social Security
Q. "Our Senators and Congressmen don’t pay into Social Security, and of course, they don’t collect from it."
A. This statement is false. Public Law #98-21 required Social Security coverage for all Federal employees, including members of Congress, who entered Federal service after 1983. The law also required all incumbent Representatives and Senators to be covered by Social Security regardless of when they entered Congress.
Like all other workers covered by Social Security, Members of Congress have Social Security taxes withheld from their paychecks (6.2% of salary). Members of Congress also are subject to the same benefit eligibility and payment as other Social Security beneficiaries.
Q. "When they (Members of Congress) retire, they draw their same pay until they die, except that it may be increased from time to time, by cost of living adjustments."
A. This statement is false. When Members of Congress retire, resign or are not reelected, they no longer receive a salary. However, if eligible by age and years of service, they may receive a retirement annuity like other Federal employees. Annuities are calculated by a formula using their highest three years of salary, years of service and a accrual rate. As for other federal retirees, the annuities of Members of Congress are less than the salary they received while in office.The annual salary of a Member of Congress in 2000 is $ 141,300.
( For the sake of brevity The Absurd Report edited the balance of the reply, which dealt with formulas, laws, cost of living increases determined by CPI, etc.)
Q. "Former Senator Bradley, and his wife, may be expected to draw $ 7,900,000, with Mrs. Bradley drawing $ 275,000 during the last year of her life. This calculated on a average life span."
A. The figures in this statement appear to be highly exaggerated. Senator Bradley has 18 years of creditable federal service and is not eligible to began drawing his full federal annuity until he turns 60 in 2003
Based on an average highest three years of annual salary ($ 136,700), times years of service (18) times an accrual rate of 0.025, the Member would receive an annuity of $ 61,515 in 2003 (this amount would be reduced if the Member elected a survivor benefit for his wife). If the Member lived to age 90 in 2033, his annuity would be $ 149,529 (current life expectancy is 76.5), based on an annual 3% COLA.
During the 30-year period from 2003 to 2033, the Member would receive $ 3,018,244. If the Member elected a survivor annuity, which would reduced the amount listed in this example, his spouse would receive 35% of his final annuity of $ 149,529. Based on this calculation, the survivor benefit would be $ 80,040.
Q. "… they(Senator Bill Bradley and his wife) paid nothing in any kind of retirement, and neither does any other Senator or Congressmen."
A. This statement is false. Although Members of Congress participate in the same retirement systems as all other federal civilian employees, their contributions requirements are higher than for other civil service workers, and their retirement computations are more liberal than most others. This is because the average tenure of a Member of Congress is significantly shorter than other Federal employees.
(again , for the sake of brevity The Absurd Report edited the balance of the reply, which dealt with formulas, laws etc.)
Q. "This fine retirement comes right out of the General Revenue Fund: our tax money."
A. This statement omits crucial information about financing of the Federal retirement system. When Federal employees and their employing agencies make contributions to the CSRDF, such money is deposited in the general fund and a government security of equal value is created and credited to the CSRDF. These securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government and have the same standing as U.S. Savings Bonds. When funds are needed to pay retirement benefits, securities credited to the CSRDF are converted to cash with money from the general fund.
The circulating e-mail also attempts to make the reader forget that U.S. taxpayers are the employers of the Members of Congress and other Federal employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report that 97% of all medium and large employers in the United States pay for their employee retirement pension benefits without worker contributions.


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YNGW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thanx for the info
I'm not totally convinced because I do remember what I read, but when I get the time and feel like doing so, I'll look more into it.
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fob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. YES, they do. And the e-mail you got is LIES.
Edited on Fri Jan-16-04 10:02 AM by FoeOfBush
You got the short version without the extra dose of Clinton-hater spew.

Edit:

When you respond to your friend, use that as a pre-emptive strike to say that the following e-mail stories they will send in the future are full of shit too.

Hillary refuses to meet with Gold Star Mothers - LIE

You & I pay $10,000/mo for Bill & Hillary's mortgage because they bill the gov't for their security detail that stays on their property - LIE

Any other story where the moral of it is Anti-Clinton or pro-repuke - BIG LIE

And the one with dumbass ignorant quotes attributed to Bill or Al Gore is actual real-life quotes from REPUBLICAN DAN QUAYLE - so knock it off!

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beaconess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Remind me not to send YOU any emails
Damn! :-)
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RamblingRose Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
12. I don't understand who is to gain by this email or who they are
Edited on Fri Jan-16-04 11:50 AM by RamblingRose
trying to harm.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-04 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Hi RamblingRose!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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