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The Comptroller General Position: Compensation and Structure

Jul 01, 2009

Project Description

This report objectively evaluated the need for the lifetime salary annuity for the Comptroller General of the United States.

Congress asked the National Academy to review the annuity to determine whether it is “necessary to preserve” the Comptroller General’s independence. The report was offered to Congress as it considers amending the lifetime annuity for this key position.

Key Findings

Based on its extensive research and analysis, a National Academy Panel determined that the annuity is not necessary to preserve the Comptroller General’s independence, but it provides financial security to an individual who remains in the position for the full 15-year term. Most importantly, the Panel found that the annuity is a significant factor in attracting and retaining highly qualified candidates for the Comptroller General position, in light of the lengthy term of office.


In view of these findings, and the relatively low cost of the benefit, the Panel recommended that the annuity be retained. Should Congress decide to amend the annuity, the Panel offered several alternative approaches for interrelated changes to the annuity and the Comptroller General’s term of office. The Panel also emphasized that any amendment must be carefully managed to avoid unexpected consequences.