Back to: Investigates
December 29, 2017 06:03 PM

Real Or Fake? Congressmen Who Leave Office In Disgrace Keep Taxpayer Funded Pensions

Four members of Congress resigned late this year due to allegations of sexual misconduct, including Minnesota Senator Al Franken, who represents people in our KELOLAND coverage area. 

Friday night we find out if it’s true that Franken and the others will all still get their taxpayer funded pension money.

The average congress person makes $174,000 a year.  80-percent of that is their lifelong pension benefit which equals $139,200 annually--all taxpayer funded.

 Plus they get medical benefits as well.

Recently, four members of congress have chosen to resign rather than go through an ethics investigation into sexual harassment allegations.

That includes: Michigan Representative John Conyers, Arizona Representative Trent Franks, Texas Representative Blake Farenthold, and Minnesota Senator Al Franken who all left their jobs due to scandal this month.

Franken addressed his supporters this week in Minnesota;

"I feel proud to call this state my home and to call so many of you my friends. I feel grateful beyond words for the support you have shown me and for the trust that you have placed in me and for the chance that you took on me," Sen. Franken said.

Franken officially resigns form the Senate on Tuesday.

But will he and the others continue to draw their taxpayer pension and congressional medical benefits... that's real.

Pensions are only denied to congressional members who receive a felony conviction. And even then, they only lose the benefit for certain felonies, mostly relating to corruption such as racketeering, extortion, tax evasion, perjury, bribery, witness tampering, or election fraud.

Members of congress who are under 50-years-old must have served for 20 years to get a full pension, but over the age of 62 it's only five years in office for full benefits. 
Those who serve less time get a reduced amount.  

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