With a career in tatters and a pregnant wife, most people would be facing a financial crisis, but Anthony Weiner still has his pension to fall back on — and it’s a pension the rest of America would love.
After just 12 years in Congress, Weiner’s benefits add up to $1.2 million, reports The Wall Street Journal
, and he doesn’t have to worry if the Stock Market keeps dropping.
Weiner was on the standard congressional salary of $174,000 before announcing his resignation on Thursday, three weeks into his humiliating Twitter sexting scandal. He was covered under the Federal Employee Retirement System, to which he contributed less than 1 percent of his pay.
The Journal’s Smart Money section says the 46-year-old New York congressman has two choices. He could take discounted payments of around $25,000 a year starting when he turns 56 in 2020 or he could wait another six years and get around $35,000 a year.
The National Taxpayers Union came up with even higher figures as it took into account Weiner’s time as a congressional staffer to then-Rep. Charles Schumer in the 1980s and early ’90s. It says he would get $32,356 at 56 and $46,224 if he waited. Taxpayers Union Executive Vice President Pete Sepp told Newsmax that those figures are based on Weiner’s making the highest contributions throughout his congressional career.
“For American taxpayers, the scandal may have only just begun,” said Sepp, who pointed out that even legislation Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois introduced this week to expand the number of crimes that would debar members of Congress from receiving their pensions would not catch Weiner.
Weiner would have been contributing less than $200 a month to his pension, Sepp said.
The Journal compares Weiner’s $1.2 million figure with a private-sector employee who put $1,000 a month into a 401(k) plan and received a $3,000 matching contribution from his employer over the same period. Even if the stock market does well, he could expect to have only $231,000, less than a fifth of what Weiner is entitled to.
Making it more one-sided, any inflation would eat into the private-sector pension, while Weiner’s and others under the federal system adjust automatically to cost-of-living increases.
The Journal also points out that Weiner also has a stock portfolio worth approximately $300,000 and a pension due from his six-year stint on New York City Council.
“The point here isn't that politicians don't deserve decent retirement plans. The last thing America needs is financially insecure lawmakers,” the Journal reports. “But Weiner is getting the equivalent of a $1.3 million exit payment after serving just 12 years on the job.
“Now that's worth tweeting about.”
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