Social media often pontificates about members of Congress receiving their pay for life, or overly generous pensions. Neither is true.
What is not mentioned are the facts or a very key point. To become vested in any pension a Member must have five years of service. And, the total length of service and age are primary factors in determining the pension.
A member of the House must be elected three times to obtain the right to a pension. Americans keep re-electing members of Congress enabling them to make a career of the job. This automatically increases the value of their pensions.
So what do we have to complain about?
Age and Length-of-Service Requirements
Members become vested in (legally entitled to) a pension benefit under CSRS or FERS after five years of service. The age and service requirements for retirement eligibility are determined by the plan under which a Member is covered at the time of retirement, regardless of whether he or she has previous service covered under a different plan. Depending on a Member’s age and years of service, a pension can be taken immediately upon separating from service or only on a deferred basis. Likewise, the Member’s age and years of service, as well as the starting date of the annuity, will determine whether he or she is eligible for a full pension or a reduced pension.https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/ac0d1dd5-7316-4390-87e6-353589586a89.pdf
By federal law, senators and representatives cannot earn their full salary in retirement. The most a congressman can earn after they leave office is 80% of their final salary. However, he or she would have had to have served 67 years to earn that top percentage.https://smartasset.com/retirement/congress-retirement-plans