Legislation has been introduced in the House to make the pension information of retired federal employees public information subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The Taxpayer Funded Pension Disclosure Act (H.R. 3200) was introduced in the House this week by Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
In an editorial in the Washington Examiner, DeSantis said that the cost of providing pensions to retired federal workers is over $100 billion, yet there is currently little transparency to the information.
“Pension data is not merely opaque; it is literally hidden in an underground complex in Pennsylvania. Federal employees hand-calculate federal pensions in a process that has not changed since the Cold War era. How many mistakes has the government made in that cavernous complex? No one knows because we’re all in the dark,” wrote DeSantis.
He added that making the data publicly available would empower citizens to “hold their government accountable like never before.”
He noted in the article that greater transparency is necessary because of fraud that has been exposed by organizations such as Open the Books at the state level, noting that it should be known at the federal level as well.
As one example, DeSantis wrote, “Former IRS chief Lois Lerner used her authority to infringe the rights of American citizens and consistently obstructed congressional investigations. Wouldn’t it be nice to see her pension information? Her pension is estimated to equal nearly $2 million in lifetime payout.”
The salaries of current federal employees are considered to be public information and have been since the early 1800s. The latest federal and Postal employee salaries can be searched at FedsDataCenter.com.
DeSantis added in a press release about the legislation, “Americans should know exactly how their taxpayer dollars are used to fund the pensions of members of Congress and other federal bureaucrats. The Taxpayer Funded Pension Disclosure Act will empower taxpayers to hold their government accountable and demand that their hard-earned tax dollars are spent wisely.”