Kingman Letter: Different data on federal pensions

Regarding the Nov. 17 letter from Lori Gabriel-Dane, I would hope that Ms. Dane would stop getting her information from a blog on the Internet. Maybe then she would write a letter that is true rather than one she wants others to believe.

Senators and Congress members do not get their full salary for life after one term in office.

Members of Congress are covered by the same plan as other federal employees. Since 1984, they belong to FERS and they contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into FERS and 6.2 percent into Social Security.

They are not eligible for a pension until they are 50 but only if they have 20 years of service. After 25 years they can retire after age 62. They must have at least five years to receive a pension. The amount of their pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest three years of their salary. The starting amount of a member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80 percent of their final salary.

According to the Congressional Record service, 413 members of Congress were receiving a pension based fully or in part on their congressional service as of Oct. 1, 2006. Two hundred and ninety retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $60,972. One hundred and twenty-three retired with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Their average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006.

Quite a difference from what Ms. Dane stated.

The rest of her rant is not all true either, but as space does not permit, I will not address it here.

James McCoy