Saturday, November 29, 2014

A $130,500 pension? Some in Congress say no, but most cash in

By Rob Hotakainen
Nov. 25, 2014

Like most members of Congress, Republican Reps. Howard Coble of North Carolina and Doc Hastings of Washington state are millionaires.

They also share something else: They’ll retire at the end of the year after turning down lucrative congressional pensions.

Coble, 83, is surrendering a pension estimated at $130,500 a year, while Hastings, 73, is giving up roughly $53,000 a year.

But if history is any indication, most departing members of Congress will conduct business as usual, cashing in on a retirement system that critics say is too generous and costs taxpayers too much.

After 40 years in the House of Representatives, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., will be eligible for an annual pension of $125,500. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will retire after 20 years, qualifying for a yearly pension of $53,000.

And Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., defeated this month in her bid to win a second term, will be eligible for an annual pension of $16,000 after serving just six years.

Their pensions will rise with yearly cost-of-living increases, too.


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