Federal Times Blogs

Rep. Coffman wants to end lawmakers’ pensions

Bookmark and Share

Here’s something you don’t see every day: A congressman taking a swipe at his own retirement benefits.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., today announced that he will introduce a bill when Congress returns that does away with lawmakers’ future defined benefit pension plan. The bill wouldn’t touch any pension benefits accrued before its passage — or their Social Security and Thrift Savings Plan benefits — but going forward, no current lawmaker would add to the value of his pension, and future lawmakers would get no pension whatsoever.

Coffman in January introduced a bill requiring most federal civilian employees to take a two-week, non-consecutive furlough. He has not proposed doing away with feds’ defined benefit pension (Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Burr have, however).

In a statement, Coffman said lawmakers who ask others to sacrifice in this economic environment also have to take some of the pain:

I’m a Marine Corps combat veteran and I was taught that you should never ask others to do anything that you would be unwilling to do. These are extremely difficult economic times and Congress needs to set an example and lead the way for the country. I think this is a good start.

Lawmakers pay more into their FERS and CSRS plans than federal employees do, but also receive higher benefits. Lawmakers under FERS pay 1.3 percent of their salaries into the pension plan, as well as contribute to Social Security and their own TSP accounts. After serving five years, they are eligible to get 1.7 percent of their salaries for every year up to 20 that they served in Congress, and 1 percent for every year after 20.



  1. Zshot Says:
    August 24th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I think that Congress should have the exact same retirement system as all Federal employees. To include all of the restrictions to include years inservice and age restrictions.

    And if they don’t get re-elected… Treat it as a termination with cause.

  2. Bill introduced to end lawmakers’ pensions « OBX Tea Party News Says:
    August 24th, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    [...] Federal Times Blog Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "0"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); [...]

  3. italy4me Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Is he running for re-election? This doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing (although it is desperately needed). This would definitely be one way to clean our congressional house out an start anew.

  4. John Roth Says:
    August 26th, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I agree with Zshot!. That also goes for state government legislators! All state government legislators should have the same benefits as state employees.

  5. Jennifer Says:
    August 31st, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I agree with the other comments, that lawmakers should have the same retirement as other state and/or federal employees.

    By the same token, they should institute term-limits and we wouldn’t even have this discussion. You can only serve ONE term (I don’t feel I should be paying you to run for re-election) and you must “sit-out” for a minimum of TWO terms before you can run for the same office again!! If they did that perhaps they could accomplish something instead of working only a few days before taking off on break, campaigning or whatever!

  6. nia Says:
    September 4th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I agree with all the above comments, however, once they are out of office, they should not receive anything. There are too many one term people living on the dow. Just because they won a seat in the Countries Legislatures, does not entitle them to any benefits. Let them accrue the benefits that they would normally have received from any other job. They are no more special than the American Public!

  7. Fedline » Coffman introduces bill striking congressional pensions Says:
    September 16th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    [...] = {"data_track_clickback":true,"ui_language":"en"};Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., today introduced his promised bill to cancel lawmakers’ future defined benefit pensions. HR 2913 wouldn’t touch any [...]