Reality Check: The EPIC Act - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Reality Check: The EPIC Act

(PHOTO: FOX19 File) (PHOTO: FOX19 File)
FOX19 - Around 45 percent of working age households haven't reportedly saved a dime towards their retirement , while people 55 to 64-years-old have saved just $12,000.

What do they and the rest of us have in common? We're footing the bill for one of the most generous pension plans in the country. After serving only five years United States Senators, as well as Congressmen and women, are eligible for pension benefits at 62-years-old. Those who have served 20 or more years are eligible to receive benefits at age 50 AND can receive them anytime after 25 years of service.

So how generous is Congress's pension plan? Take Speaker of the House John Boehner as an example. His salary this year is $232,500 500-dollars. If the Speaker were to retire today, he'd receive an annual pension benefit of approximately $85,000. That's not bad for a guy who's net worth is estimated at more than $3.5 million.

Boehner isn't the only millionaire in Congress. Nearly one-half of the 534 members are worth more than a $1 million. Kentucky Congressman, Thomas Massie, ran for office insisting he'd refuse the tax-payer funded pension and is among a handful of republicans behind the 'End Pensions In Congress Act,' or EPIC.

"If you've been in Congress for less than five years this bill would apply to you and you would no longer be eligible for a pension," said Massie.

EPIC doesn't exactly let taxpayers off the hook. Under the bill, any member of Congress already serving more than five years will continue to draw a full pension. Massie insisted EPIC is a necessary first-step to changing the culture in Washington.

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan isn't a millionaire, his net worth ranks near the very bottom in Congress. When asked if he would support EPIC. He had no comment. Meanwhile, Massie argued members of congress have another retirement option that doesn't rely so heavily on taxpayers.

"Congressmen already have this option today. It's called a Thrift Savings Plan, a federal plan that acts like a 401K," Said Massie.

As for EPIC, Massie said it has little chance of getting out of committee, although he remains hopeful that as word of the bill gets out more people will pressure his colleagues to support it.

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