As the two multimillionaires leave Congress next month, they will be eligible immediately for congressional pensions: Dole, about $15,000 a year for life; Hayes, about $25,500, according to the National Taxpayers Union, a government watchdog group.
The amounts would be increased with an annual cost of living adjustment, Lisa Zagaroli reports.
"Even after attempts to reform the system in the early 1980s, members of Congress were left with a very sweet deal," said Pete Sepp, a spokesman for the group. "They get both defined benefit pensions and a defined contribution plan. Most workers in America have to choose one or the other if they're even offered both."
Rep. Howard Coble of Greensboro campaigned against the system in his first race in 1984 and has never enrolled in it. He said he knows of only one other lawmaker who isn't enrolled, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
"It's a taxpayer ripoff," he said.
Hayes is worth between $75 and $272 million, making him the fifth richest member of Congress, while Dole is worth between $15 and $48 million, making her the 23rd richest lawmaker, according to a 2007 ranking by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Both declined to comment on the pension.