A bipartisan group of House members has proposed legislation that would end the defined-benefit pension plan that all members of Congress receive after just five years.
The bill, from Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), would keep in place any benefits members or ex-members are now eligible to receive. But it would prevent current members from accruing more benefits, and would shut down the system completely for new members of Congress.
“I continue to believe that during these challenging economic times Congress must be willing to share in the sacrifice required by all Americans and lead by example,” Coffman said. “Congress needs to set an example for the country, and I believe that ending our pension plan would be a good start.
Under current law, all members can receive a portion of their $174,000 salary after just five years, and members who are 62 or older with five years on the job receive a full pension. Younger members need to be in the job longer, but all members can get a full pension after just 25 years.
Co-sponsors of the bill include Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who said he agrees with Coffman that congressional pensions need to go, given the economic uncertainty facing many families.
“Members of Congress shouldn’t get pensions in perpetuity at a time when American families are struggling and the nation’s deficit is far too high,” Polis said.
Other co-sponsors are Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), John Fleming (R-La.), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.).