Ask Laz

Social Security: Do members of Congress pay their fair share?

Do Congress members pay Social Security taxes? @Davidlaz has the answer

A reader going by the name DrChick3 wants to know: Do members of Congress pay into the Social Security system?

Let's find out.

"All members of Congress, the president and vice president, federal judges and most political appointees were covered under the Social Security program starting in January 1984," says the Social Security Administration.

"They pay into the system just like everyone else. Thus all members of Congress, no matter how long they have been in office, have been paying into the Social Security system since January 1984."

ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions

I'm guessing that DrChick3 is now wondering what the deal was before January 1984.

Prior to that time, federal government officials and workers were part of the Civil Service Retirement System, which was created in 1920, a decade and a half before Social Security was established.

Federal officials hired before January 1984 were given the choice of staying in the former system or joining Social Security. For that reason, according to the Social Security Administration, there are still some folks in Washington who aren't paying into Social Security.

But their days, needless to say, are numbered.

If you have a consumer question, email me at or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World