I Think I Just Recieved a Scam in the Mail

I just recieved something in the mail from Citizens for a Sound Economy. The letter that came with it claims Congressmen do not pay into Social Security as we do, but have their own “lavish pensions” paid by “US taxpayers”. CSE claims payment is based on length of time spent in congress, so the longer someone is in office, the more they get in pension. Here is more of what the letter claims (I hope I’m allowed to do this):

“Congressional pensions provide double to triple the benefits offered by most private employers.”

“Many retired politicians-even those convicted of a felony-will rake in more than $1 million and some could draw more than $2 million! (Fast Fact Your social security benefits are not secure. They could be slashed at any time!)”

The felons listed are: Dan Rostenkowski, John Dowdy and Gary Condit (Condit was never charged with anything, was he?)
CSE is also asking for a “generous gift” up to “$500”!

Here is a link to the website: www.cse.org I didn’t thoroughly check the site. The whole text may be on there. I also checked the BBB but found nothing.

I’m very sceptical of this. They were vague on who they are, but the website seems to reveal them. What really got me was the request for contributions. I don’t believe their claims about the congressional pensions.

I believe the question about congressional pensions vs. social security has been addressed on this board before or by Cecil.

ISTR that federal employees are not eligible for Social Security benefits, hence they don’t pay into the system. They do receive nice pensions, and since Congresspeople are the highest paid federal employees around, it makes sense that their pensions would be quite lavish.

Snopes has an article debunking the “most congressmen are felons” thing – the few that are true are mostly DUI’s and stuff.

It’s a bit of a stretch to call this a “scam”, more likely it’s a bunch of left-wing loonies spreading disinformation. It’s not like they’re asking for your help to get $30 million out of Nigeria or something. :smiley:

They do have a different retirement plan than Social security, and yes its much nicer.

As far as the “donation” wheres the scam. Sounds like a political action committee of some type hoping for donations…

I personally do need help to get $30 million out of Nigeria.
Firstly however, I need you to each give me money, to a total of $30 million. Once I have that, I shall take it too Nigeria, then leave with it.
I believe that by doing this we can put a stop to the Nigerian money scam once and for all. Really, once the money has been taken from Nigeria there will be no need to repeat the exercise will there?


This generalized statement is incorrect.

Prior to January 1, 1984, there was only one major retirement system for Federal employees. Federal employees who were eligible for retirement coverage were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). By law, Federal employees covered by CSRS were excluded from Social Security coverage and taxes.

The Social Security laws were changed in 1983 to require Social Security (FICA) coverage for most new Federal employees hired after December 31, 1983, or employees who were rehired after December 31, 1983, after a break in CSRS coverage of more than 1 year. These employees were placed in an interim retirement plan that provided for full Social Security (or OASDI) deductions from pay and reduced CSRS deductions. This was the precursor of the CSRS Offset plan.

On January 1, 1987, the new Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) started. Most Federal workers are covered by either CSRS or FERS. However, in the legislation that created FERS, Congress also created the CSRS Offset plan.

Typically, CSRS Offset retirement applies to employees who had a break in service that exceeded 1 year and ended after 1983, and had 5 years of creditable civilian service on January 1, 1987. CSRS Offset retirement coverage also applies to employees hired before January 1, 1984, who acquired CSRS coverage for the first time after that date, and had at least 5 years of creditable service by January 1, 1987.

CSRS Offset federal employees pay into both Social Security and a federal employees retirement plan.

See http://www.opm.gov/fers_election/facts/ri83-13.htm

Oh, it’s gotta be “left-wing” loonies, huh? From Zamboni’s link, some CSE priorities:

Right-wing loonies, then. I stand corrected. :wink:

Snopes article about this.

[sub]fixed link - DrMatrix[/sub]

Originally posted by me:

So according to the statement below, the above statement is false:

So Citizens for a Sound Economy is a legitimate organization. I’m still not sending money.