One in six federal lawmakers currently earns at least $100,000 annually from pensions, according to Freedom of Information Act data received by Federal Times.
The average annual pension -- from data collected during three decades -- for former congressmen and senators is much lower, coming in at $49,412. Two retired lawmakers earned more than $200,000 year; one of them recently died, Federal Times reported. Four former lawmakers are earning pensions that are greater than their salaries would be if they were serving in Congress today.
The Office of Personnel Management redacted the names of the former lawmakers receiving high pensions, citing privacy concerns, Federal Times said.
Currently, rank-and-file senators and representatives earn $174,000 per year. Former lawmakers receive large pensions because their base salary is higher than the average federal worker’s, the rate used to calculate their pension is higher than those used for typical federal employees and cost-of-living adjustments have inflated, according to Federal Times.Reps. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., and Mike Coffman, R-Colo., have each introduced bills to limit or eliminate pensions for lawmakers, but neither bill has made it out of committee.