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Senate Bill Would Eliminate Congressional Pensions

Legislation introduced this week would end pensions for Members of Congress if it were to become law.

A new bill introduced in the Senate would eliminate pensions for Members of Congress, saying that it is keeping with President Trump’s promise of working to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

Introduced by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and co-sponsored by Rick Scott (R-FL), the bill (S. 439) would permanently end Congressional pensions but still allow Members of Congress to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan.

Lawmakers currently are eligible for a pension after just five years of serving in Congress. The amount of the pension depends on their years of service and the average of their highest three years of salary.

Braun said in a statement that he will never take his Senate pension, although he added if he was “forced to,” he would donate it to Indiana charities.

Braun was also the sponsor of the No Budget, No Pay Act (S. 39) introduced last month which would cut off lawmakers’ salaries if Congress fails to pass a budget and a shutdown ensues.

Braun said in a statement about the bill, “It’s time we make Washington more like the private sector, and the best place to start is to end taxpayer funded pensions – like Nancy Pelosi’s six figure annual pension – that Senators and Congressmen are entitled to in retirement. If we remove the luxurious perks from Congress, we’ll get better leaders: that’s why I’ll never accept my Senate pension and, if forced to, I pledge to donate every penny to Hoosier charities.”

Scott added, “It’s time for term limits and it’s time to make those in D.C. realize that the era of career politicians is over. Americans should not have to foot the bill for generous salaries and pensions for Members of Congress, and I’m proud to be working on common sense solutions to make Washington work for families across the nation.”

Should pensions for Members of Congress be eliminated? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.