Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Barred from rejecting congressional pension, Nugent proposes new law

BROOKSVILLE — U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent figured it would be a mere formality taken care of with the stroke of a pen.

The Spring Hill Republican already has a pension from his career in law enforcement, including 10 years as Hernando County Sheriff.

So, Nugent, who was elected to the District 5 House seat last November, thought he could sign paperwork opting out of the congressional pension program, just as he did for health benefits.

He was wrong. Members by law are required to enroll in the program.

"I still don't get it," Nugent said last week.

Now, he's trying to change the law.

The bill, dubbed the "Congress Is Not A Career Act" and Nugent's first piece of legislation since taking office, would allow members to opt out of the congressional pension, as well as the federal match to their deferred compensation plan.

Members can defer some of their compensation for retirement, and Nugent has decided to do so. Under current law, he has to accept a full taxpayer-funded match up to 5 percent of his $174,000 annual salary.

Nugent noted that most members of the military — including his three son — don't get matching benefits from the government. He said the decision to opt out of medical coverage is costing him about $9,000 per year.

He said the goal of his bill is not to "impose our views on anyone else," just to give some flexibility. He is now seeking co-sponsors.

"I would hope that it would have bipartisan support," he said. "There's a number of us that are in the same position I'm in, and there are members that are extremely wealthy who don't need those particular benefits."

Tony Marrero

Barred from rejecting congressional pension, Nugent proposes new law 03/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 19, 2011 2:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Large brush fire burning in Brooker Creek Preserve near Westchase

    Fire

    A large brush fire is burning early Thursday morning in the Brooker Creek Preserve just north of Oldsmar near Westchase, but appears to be contained, according to reports.

  2. Clearwater confronts a new wave of homeless people, many addicted to spice

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Having lived on the streets since 2014, when he said God ordered him to go out and watch over the homeless, Scott Elfstrom has seen new faces brought out by the typical drugs, despair or plain bad luck.

    Clearwater police Sgt. Rodney Johnson talks to a group of homeless people near the Clearwater Police Department. Johnson has worked to decrease the amount of spice being used in the homeless population.
  3. Preservation group's efforts help revitalize Hudson Cemetery

    Human Interest

    HUDSON — Since the 1970s, the area's unhoused could count on Hudson Cemetery as a place to eat, drink and doze. They would crouch behind bushes on the 2 acres — sandwiched between an ABC liquor store and a shopping center — and leave behind beer cans, cigarette butts and rotting clothes. They would …

    Dennis Kingsley, former president of the Hudson Cemetery Preservation Association, looks at recently cleaned headstones at the cemetery. It got a new fence and was cleared of weeds and brush in June.
  4. Adam Putnam
  5. Forecast: Summertime heat, late-day showers soldier on in Tampa Bay

    Weather

    The summertime pattern of hot temperatures and afternoon showers continues through the second half of the week across Tampa Bay.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]