The Facts

Both U.S. Senators from Michigan – Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow – receive state pension benefits while also collecting a U.S. Senate paycheck – both are taxpayer funded.

While in Washington D.C., Sen. Gary Peters receives about $50,000 a year from his Michigan taxpayer funded state pension, plus 4% cost of living increase for his 8 years of state service in the 1990s. Sen. Debbie Stabenow also collects over $78,000 a year from hers. This is in addition to their $174,000 annual salary as a U.S. Senator.

Compare that to a Michigan teacher who worked in the public school system for 30 years and then retires; earning that statewide average salary would provide them with an annual pension of $36,156 a year (see page 104).

That’s just not fair. Now’s the time to review these outdated policies.

The Money Situation

Currently Michigan has about $40 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

As part of the bankruptcy settlement, the City of Detroit non-uniformed retirees took a 4.5 percent cut in their pensions. They lost cost-of-living adjustments and saw health care benefits cut. That’s left some former city workers with tight budgets.

Regular checks

However, when Detroit pensioners started to lose part of their pensions, that’s when Sen. Gary Peters started to collect his, valued at about $50,000 a year.

This is because State legislators who began service prior to 1997, only had to serve for 8 years to receive full pension benefits. Whereas the average teacher pension in Michigan is $21,348. Michigan requires teachers to serve 10 years for a minimum partial pension.


$22,764: Average Retirement Benefit For A Retired Michigan Employee

$28,148.37: Average Retirement Benefit For A Retired Michigan Teacher

$31,764: Average Retirement Benefit For A Retired Michigan Employee With 30+ Years Of Service

$50,207: Retirement Benefit For Sen. Gary Peters In 2018

$78,290.40: Retirement Benefit For Sen. Debbie Stabenow In 2018

$174,000: Salary For A Member Of Congress

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Share Your Story

If you believe this system is unfair we want to hear from you.

Tell us how pension troubles have impacted your family.

We want to ensure your voice is heard in Lansing and Washington D.C.

By sharing your story you can help us push to ban elected officials from double-dipping our publicly funded pensions and retirement benefits whilst on the Federal Government payroll