Even in disgrace, Foley will get lavish benefits

Now that he’s resigned from office, just how much money can former Rep. Mark Foley expect to receive in the coming years?

When he turns 62, Foley, who turned 52 last month, will start getting a pension of $32,000 a year, according to the National Taxpayers Union. If Foley is unable to wait until 2016, he could choose to begin collecting a “deferred reduced retirement” plan in 2010, when he is 56. But, then, he would only be able to collect $22,400 a year, depending on cost-of-living adjustments.

Foley participated in the Federal Thrift Savings Plan, a program he frequently touted as an alternative to Social Security because it works like a company 401(k) plan. If Foley contributed 5 percent of each paycheck to this plan, the government (i.e., taxpayers) would match him the 5 percent.

That means Foley could have easily accrued more than $150,000 in assets since taking office in 1994, said Pete Sepp, vice president of communications for the National Taxpayers Union.

“That’s nothing to sneeze at,” Sepp said.

Foley could choose to withdraw the money whenever he chooses, Sepp said, but there may be a penalty.

Earlier this year, in his financial-disclosure report, Foley reported assets ranging between $237,000 and $1.2 million. Those reports indicated that the former Florida congressman invested between $1,000 and $15,000 in companies such as Bell South, Coca-Cola and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Some of the assets are shared with Foley’s mother, Frances.

As far as health-care benefits, the Republican is able to go on “temporary continuation of coverage,” a program available to employees who lose their coverage because they leave or resign from their jobs.

Foley can continue receiving health-care benefits under this plan for up to 18 months, Sepp said.

(Contact Amie Parnes at ParnesA(at)shns.com)