Tester: Congress should play by the same retirement rules as everyone else

Senator’s bill prevents lawmakers from collecting federal pensions until Social Security retirement age

(U.S. SENATE) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sponsored a bill that puts members of Congress on the same timeline as most Americans when it comes to retirement.

Current law allows members of Congress to begin collecting pensions from their Congressional service as early as the age of 50, while most Americans working today cannot collect full Social Security benefits until the age of 66 or later.

Tester’s bill prevents U.S. Senators and Representatives from receiving a pension until they complete five years of Congressional service and reach Social Security retirement age.

“Members of Congress don’t need any extra favors from the American people when it comes to retirement,” Tester said.  “I’m looking forward to seeing this bill become law because, as Montanans remind us, folks in Congress need to earn their benefits like everyone else.”

Tester is a firm believer in bringing accountability to the Senate.  He previously introduced legislation to prevent automatic Congressional pay raises and consistently votes against raising his own pay as a U.S. Senator.

Tester’s bill also denies early retirement to any member of Congress who otherwise meets federal early retirement requirements.  The bill will only affect current and future members.

Tester’s bill, The Congressional Retirement Age Act of 2011, is available HERE.