Conyers leaves office with hefty retirement package

BY JILL CUENI-COHEN / DECEMBER 6, 2017 /

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Thanks to taxpayers, disgraced U.S. Rep. John Conyers will not have to worry about money after he’s left Congress.

His government job has been paying him $174,000 a year. And in retirement, he’ll likely pull in a sizable annual pension payment worth as much as  $139,200, according to a report published in the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. Most members who joined Congress before the mid-1980s qualify for a hefty pension. And that’s not all…

There are more rewards for the man’s nearly 53 years served in office, thanks to a congressional package and Social Security, which would bring him more than $230,000 a year, but for rules limiting a pension to no more than 80% of current pay.

However, Conyers may have opted for a spousal death benefit for his wife, Monica, which would lower his yearly pension to approximately $125,550 a year, according to Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union, a government watchdog group.

All members of Congress can maintain their health care coverage established under the Affordable Care Act throughout retirement, with the federal government picking up about 72% of the cost.

Despite an Ethics Committee investigation, which the Free Press expects to be dropped, allegations of sexual misconduct probably won’t affect his future benefits because the committee only has jurisdiction over current members and employees in Congress.

The only way members of Congress and other federal employees could be forced to forfeit their retirement benefits is if they are convicted of a federal crime related to corruption, espionage, treason or another national security offense. Sexual misconduct is not on the list… yet.