Last night was the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. With just over a month to go, the presidential campaign is as close as it has ever been. We’ve written fairly extensively about Donald Trump and what his presidency could mean for your retirement. What, though, would a Hillary Clinton presidency mean for your pension and your retirement?
Interestingly, Hillary Clinton, like Donald Trump, is a pensioner. She is eligible for a pension from the federal government for her service in the Senate and as Secretary of State. Like all other federal employees who participate in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System, Secretary Clinton participates in the “three-legged stool” of retirement: Social Security benefits; the FERS basic annuity; and the Thrift Savings Program. To earn the FERS basic annuity, a member of Congress must serve for five years and the annuity is based off years of service and the three consecutive years of highest pay.
Secretary Clinton has a long record of supporting Social Security. She has opposed efforts to privatize the program. More recently, she has embraced calls to expand Social Security in response to the looming retirement crisis.
On her campaign website, Secretary Clinton pledges to “protect retirement security” and “push back against any efforts to undermine retirement benefits.” It’s good to see one of the major party presidential candidates take a clear stance on the need to protect a secure and dignified retirement for working families. However, we’d like to hear Clinton (and Trump) say more about the importance of retirement security on the campaign trail. If you haven’t yet, please sign our petition calling on both presidential candidates to make this issue a priority in the campaign.
This summer we were thrilled when the Democratic National Committee included a clear call to protect pensions in the party platform adopted at the convention. The platform said:
“Democrats believe it should be easier for Americans to save for retirement and prepare for unforeseen risks and expenses. We will defend the right of workers to collect their defined benefit pensions and make sure workers get priority and protection when pension plans are in distress. Democrats will also fight to enact legislation to make sure that the earned pension benefits of Americans will not be cut…”
NPPC had submitted testimony earlier in the summer urging the Democratic Party to make retirement security a priority and we were pleased to see they took a stand on this critical issue.
Today is also National Voter Registration Day. If you are not currently registered to vote, please register today! When it comes to protecting pensions and other critical issues, voting is one of the most powerful actions you can take.