WASHINGTON – Thursday, legislation introduced by Senator Mike Braun and Senator Rick Scott to allow members of Congress to opt-out of receiving a taxpayer-funded pension advanced out of committee in the Senate.
“Our job in Congress is to serve the American people, not to enrich ourselves with special taxpayer-funded pensions. That is why I’ll never accept my Senate pension and members who do not wish to receive a pension at the taxpayers’ expense should not be forced to. If we remove the luxurious perks from Congress, we’ll get better leaders and fewer career politicians who decide how they’ll vote by just trying to stay in power. This legislation would bring us one step closer.” – Sen. Mike Braun
“Members of Congress shouldn’t be using their elected position to get rich, and taxpayers definitely should not be footing the bill for career politicians’ retirements. Washington needs to work for the American people, not the other way around. That is why I am proud to join Senator Braun on this commonsense legislation so that members of Congress can opt-out of their pension and save taxpayer funds.” — Sen. Rick Scott
- Sen. Braun first introduced the Members of Congress Pension Opt-Out Clarification Act in 2019, shortly after being elected to the Senate. This bill passed the Senate in the 116th Congress but stalled in the House of Representatives.
- The Member of Congress Opt-Out Clarification Act would allow members of the House of Representatives to opt-out of the Federal Retirement System (FERS). It does so by repealing a line added to the 2004 Appropriations Act that eliminated the option for Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to opt-out of FERS.
- Additionally, it amends the definition of a Member under 5 U.S.C. 8401 (20) to specify that Members who opt-out of FERS may still participate in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which is the government equivalent to a 401(k), allowing Members to save for their retirement like their constituents without contributing to a plush pension program. Currently, Senators who opt-out of FERS also lose their TSP.
Read the full bill text here.