Huge Disparity Between Congress Members and the Average Retiree, Report Shows [AUDIO]
A new study shows retired members of Congress are doing a lot better than the average retiree.
The analysis from Bankrate.com shows that while less than one in five private sector workers qualify for a pension, members of Congress qualify for federal pensions that pay an average of $40,000 and up annually. Analyst Chris Kahn says it is not just members of Congress who enjoy these top benefits.
"The Federal Government has long been thought of as just a great source of employment and benefits."
While the average worker gets just over $18,000-a-year from Social Security upon retirement, members of Congress start retirement with an initial benefit of more than $30,000 annually and health benefits at greatly reduced rates.
Members of Congress and other federal employees are enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan. The federal government matches contributions up to five percent, in addition to a one percent giveaway whether or not the employee contributes.
The expense ratio of the TSP in 2012 was just 0.03 percent. That's way better than the average expense ratios paid by 401(k) investors for equity funds (0.63 percent, according to the Investment Company Institute). And the average private sector employer match is just 4.1 percent.