Letters to the Editor

Congressional pensions level the playing field

After 1984, a Congressional pension is the same as for air traffic controllers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, Supreme Court police, and others federal employees. Before 1984 then pension was $71,664. After 1984 it dropped to $42,048. They include cost-of-living increases. Civil Service Retirement System retirees before 1984 receive no Social Security. Federal Employees Retirement System retirees after 1984 receive Social Security apart from their pension. Social Sercurity ensions are adjusted for cost-of-living, as are CSRS and FERS pensions.

A recent article on Congressional pensions stated that pensions can't exceed 80 percent of salary. It didn't mention this applies to CSRS Congressmen only. For Congressmen with 40 years of service, the maximum pension is 54 percent. Public officials shouldn't unduly benefit from representing constituents. Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., proposed changing the vesting requirement to 12 years. Elimination of Congressional pensions would make it impossible for anyone but the rich to serve. The average American would be thrilled to have a package like this. Congress is the board of directors of a crucial and major non-profit, the United States Government. Do we want the best available talent in Congress?

Mark Mahaffey

Olympia

Article: Retirement system is too generous.

Pensions are 2-3 times as generous as the private sector.

Seat in Congress is Well-Feathered Nest.

Response: Congress' retirement system is substantially the same as for all Federal employees. If so generous, shouldn't most Federal employees and Congressmen be top graduates of our nation's most outstanding universities?

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