Breaking Stories Shine Light on Massive Government Pension Benefits

Today, a number of intrepid Bloomberg reporters published two stories based on information they retrieved from the Federal Employee Retirement database through a Freedom of Information Act request. Their findings add new insights into just how extensive our government's pension promises are, and some of the potential impacts on taxpayers.

The big finding of the report is that the federal system faces a $674 billion shortfall, primarily from one of its older components. Further findings include: one of every 125 retired federal civilian workers collects more than $100,000 in benefits annually, The U.S. Treasury pays about $4.9 billion every month for about 1.8 million retirees, an average of $31,633 annually, at least 48,500 retirees are making more now than they did on the federal payroll, and much more...

These figures will likely raise eyebrows among private industry employees, only about one-fifth of whom have access to a pension plan (at least a larger percentage than this can access 401(K)-type plans). Meanwhile, Social Security's fiscal time-bomb keeps on ticking, threatening private-sector taxpayers (and some public-sector employees) with major collateral damage.

NTU has tracked and estimated the benefits taxpayers are paying out to government officials, particularly Congressional representatives, for quite a long time. NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp provided some thoughts for one of the articles, and will testify next week before Congress on this very issue.

Make sure to check out the articles "Congress's Benefits Add to $674B Pension Gap" and "Some Candidates to Get Government Pensions."