Shared Retirement Sacrifice Act

Press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Following yesterday’s release of a budget proposal that would dismantle Medicare and leave the door open for raising the retirement age on Social Security to age 69 or higher, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) held a news conference call today to outline new legislation he is introducing that would require Members of Congress to “walk in the same shoes” as working Americans.

Brown’s bill, the Shared Retirement Sacrifice Act of 2011, would amend the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) to directly tie the Social Security retirement age to current and future Members of Congress’ access to their federal retirement benefits. On the call, Brown released a county-by-county estimate showing the number of Ohio senior citizens that receive Social Security benefits.

“Raising the Social Security retirement age might sound fair to politicians who come to work every day in a suit and tie, but it’s a nonstarter for working Ohioans who stand on their feet all day long in a restaurant or on a factory floor,” Brown said. “Social Security is under attack by those who falsely think it adds to the federal deficit. These same politicians want to give extra tax cuts to the wealthiest two percent of Americans and tax breaks for big corporations and Big Oil while dismantling Medicare. It’s time for Washington politicians to make the same sacrifices that they’re proposing for millions of Americans.”

“That’s why I’m introducing legislation that would require Members of Congress to ‘walk in the same shoes’ as working Americans by tying their pension and retirement benefits to the Social Security retirement age. If these politicians want to ask Americans to continue working into their late 60s and early 70s before receiving critical retirement benefits, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have to make the same sacrifices as well,” Brown continued.

Currently, Members of Congress can begin collecting pensions as early as age 50, while working Americans cannot collect full Social Security benefits until age 66. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), retirement with an immediate, full pension is available to Members of Congress covered under FERS at age 62 or older with at least five years of federal service; at age 50 or older with at least 20 years of service; and at any age to Members with at least 25 years of service. For Members covered by CSRS, retirement with an immediate, full pension is available to Members age 60 or older with 10 years of service in Congress, or age 62 with five years of civilian federal service, including service in Congress.

6 thoughts on “Shared Retirement Sacrifice Act

  1. Rep. Marshal Blackburn (R-TN) was on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show this morning to be intereviewed about Paul Ryan’s new budget plan. It was a markedly unsatisfactory interview, but she did let one of what may be the Republicans’ plans for American retirees out of the bag:

    She said that many people talk to her about wanting to work until 72 or 75 and that they didn’t want to have to pay for Medicare for all those years. And it’s important to raise the Medicare age because otherwise the government is telling people when to retire. The host did not call her on this obvious misreading of when people can retire now.

    Really, Representative? Really?

    But this does suggest the next move from austerians of both parties, but especially Republicans rightwingers, will be to make the full SocSec age 72…or 75. By which age a good many recipients will be dead. So, it wil l”save” not only Medicare funds, but SocSec as well….

  2. Yes, there are many people who want to (and who could) work to 72 or 75 BUT they do it because they get extra Social Security benefits if they do. It can be the difference between poverty level support and something with more dignity; i.e., the difference between $1,700 a month or $2,300 a month. If she thinks I would work till 70 or 72 or 75 for the same as I get at 66…. she’d better not show her face around me. That’s one stupid lady.

  3. I heart my senator. Every couple of months I call his office and tell them they’re just about the only thing keeping me in the Democratic fold.

  4. just moving the conversation/Overton Window so the Democrats will move even more further Rightward. Keeping the Republicans in charge of the conversation. never getting to move the “focus” leftwards is all this “conversation” does.

    Success for the Republicans from the get go.

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