May 21, 2020

Tim Kauffman

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Federal Retirement System Began 100 Years Ago with Passage of Landmark Pension Legislation

Categories: Congress, Pay, Benefits, Retirement

Bill providing retirement security for federal workers paved way for creation of Social Security system more than a decade later

WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President Everett Kelley today issued the following statement: 

“May 22 marks 100 years since Congress passed landmark legislation providing federal workers with retirement benefits for the first time. The defined benefit annuities created by the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 gave federal workers the ability to retire with financial security, and it ultimately led to the creation of the Social Security Act for all workers in 1935.

“Federal employees hired today still rely on defined benefit payments as a critical component of their overall retirement plan, which now also includes Social Security and tax-favored retirement savings accounts. These benefits not only provide income security to federal retirees – they ensure that federal agencies are able to recruit, retain, and recognize the most qualified employees to carry out the government’s essential functions.

“At this critical time in our nation’s history, when citizens are depending on the federal government to lead the way in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better opportunity to recognize Congress for helping foster the professional civil service we have today.”

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