H.R. 3327 would eliminate the payment of current and future retirement annuities to Members of Congress who are convicted of certain criminal offenses already specified in law. Under current law, Members forgo receipt of such payments only after a final conviction (that is, after the exhaustion of all appeals under the judicial process). The bill would eliminate retirement annuities for Members from the date of sentencing for any conviction following enactment.
CBO estimates that the resulting forfeitures of retirement annuities would reduce direct spending by less than $500,000 over the 2021-2031 period. Based on the number of previous convictions of Members of Congress, CBO anticipates that the number of future convictions would be small. In addition, any associated reductions in direct spending would show a budgetary effect only once a convicted Member reached eligibility for retirement, which could be beyond the current budget window. On average, Members of Congress currently retiring under the Federal Employees Retirement System receive an annuity of about $45,000 per year. However, a criminal conviction could shorten a Member’s career. To the extent that happens, the forfeited annuity would probably be less than the average.