Congressional Retirement Issues

T-GGD-95-165: Published: May 15, 1995. Publicly Released: May 15, 1995.

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GAO discussed congressional retirement benefits, focusing on how they compare to retirement benefits available to other federal and civil service employees. GAO noted that: (1) overall, the retirement provisions in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for members are more beneficial than the provisions for other federal employee groups, since members can retire at a younger age and with fewer years of service, and yield greater benefits than general employees; (2) CSRS and FERS have separate provisions for air traffic controllers, firefighters, and law enforcement officers which fall between the congressional and general employee provisions; (3) it is unclear why congressional members and staff receive preferential benefits; and (4) savings could be realized by examining if there is a continuing need for provisions which afford preferential and more costly benefits to congressional staff and members.

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