Sherrod Brown: Give lawmakers pension at Social Security retirement age

As it stands, members of Congress can start receiving pensions at various times. Under the Federal Employees Retirement System, lawmakers who retire at 50 and have at least two decades of federal service can immediately collect full pension benefits, while those who are 62 will get the same if they retire with at least five years government experience. Any member who has served at least a quarter-century in the federal government can also receive full benefits upon retirement.

Brown’s proposal drops just after the House GOP’s 2012 budget, which he said left the door open to raising the retirement age. That proposal, shaped by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), calls for more drastic changes to Medicare and Medicaid than to Social Security.

President Obama’s fiscal commission did propose gradually raising the Social Security age, taking it to 69 by about 2075. But Democrats on the so-called “Gang of Six,” the bipartisan group of senators discussing deficit-reducing legislation based on the debt panel’s recommendations, have also signaled they prefer removing Social Security from those discussions. 

Brown and other progressives from both chambers of Congress — including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) — have also gotten behind legislation that would only allow changes to Social Security with the approval of two-thirds of both the House and the Senate.