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Is It True?

I talk with Utahns every day and there are a lot of questions that come up about things people read on the internet or hear on tv.  There is so much information being thrown at us all the time, and it can be difficult to determine what is true and what is false.  I am going to periodically post some of the questions I hear from Utahns to help set the record straight.


Question:  Is it true that Members of Congress don’t have to participate in Social Security?

Answer:  No, this is not true.  Members of Congress pay Social Security taxes the same way as private sector employees.


Question:  Is it true that Members of Congress are paid their full salary for life?

Answer: No, this is not true.  Members of Congress have the same benefits as any federal employee – from a park ranger to an FDA food inspector.  Under the current system, all federal employees pay into a retirement plan that offers no payments unless the person has been employed for at least five years.  Even if a person is federally employed for his or her entire career, it would be almost impossible for the yearly retirement benefits to reach the level of the person’s annual salary.


Want to know more?  This report from the Congressional Research Service has a great article on these topics.

CRS Report - Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress (03/06/13 05:09 PM PST)