Under the Dome

Dole, Hayes eligible for pension

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Rep. Robin Hayes could get federal pensions.

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.


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Re: Dole, Hayes eligible for pension

If Mary Easely had any sense of decency she would NOT have taken such advantage of the NC taxpayers by demanding and receiving an 80%+ PAY RAISE for a JOB that NO ONE ELSE was given a chance at...

HOW does she sleep at night?

Re: Dole, Hayes eligible for pension

It doesn't matter whether Republican or Democrat...if you already have that much money in the bag that Hayes does, and Dole too, you should decline the pension. That would be the "conservative" position. And if people want to point out rich Democrats who are leaving and get pensions, that's fine...I don't think there should be a law, it should just be the right thing to do.

Re: Dole, Hayes eligible for pension - (honorable millionaires)

If Sen. Dole and Rep. Hayes have any sense of decency, they will not accept this money. Alas, if they had any sense of decency, they would not have blindly, continually, and whole heartedly supported a political party that has driven our country into such a deep ditch. Enjoy our $30,000(plus) a year, honorable millionaires.

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