Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes

Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes

J. David Cox, AFGE National President
J. David Cox, AFGE National President AFGE

The budget deal has been struck.

To review, the compromise package to roll back sequestration cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act for two years targets federal employees’ pensions as expected. While current workers were spared, civil servants hired after 2013 would pay 4.4 percent of their annual salaries toward their defined retirement benefit. This marks a 1.3 percent increase from the current contribution requirement for new hires, though any employee hired in or before 2012 pays only 0.8 percent of their salary toward their pension.

Military retirees’ pensions would also take a hit, as the deal requires a less generous annual cost of living adjustment. Overall, the plan takes $12 billion in savings from federal workers. Continue reading “Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes”

Mikulski Urges Conferees to Reject Draconian Increases to Federal Employees’ Retirement Contributions as Work on Budget Deal Continues

Barbara A. Mikulski - U.S. Senator for MarylandMikulski Urges Conferees to Reject Draconian Increases to Federal Employees’ Retirement Contributions as Work on Budget Deal Continues

Senator urges Budget Conference Committee to cancel sequester for two years and reject proposals to require federal employees to pay substantially more for their retirement

December 4, 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today in a letter to Budget Conference Committee leaders Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) called for a budget agreement that recognizes the value of federal employees by canceling sequester for at least two years and rejecting draconian proposals to require federal employees to pay substantially more for their retirement.

“Each and every day, federal employees stand up for America. But they are worried about their jobs and futures. Their pay has been frozen for three years. Many were furloughed this year because of sequester. During the shutdown, they were told to stay home, and their paychecks were late. Now, they are deeply troubled by proposals to require them to pay considerably more for their retirement. I value the service of federal employees, and I know how important these benefits are to these middle class families,” Senator Mikulski said. “I want federal employees to know that I am on their side. Federal employees have been undervalued and underappreciated for too long. That’s why I fought so hard to ensure that in January, federal employees can receive a modest one percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This will be the first COLA in four years and it is long overdue. To turn around and take 5.5 percent more out of their pockets to pay for the same retirement benefits is a cruel bait-and-switch for their compensation.”

Maryland is home to the headquarters of 20 major federal agencies, from the Social Security Administration to the Food and Drug Administration. More than 300,000 federal employees and retirees live and work in Maryland, serving the nation and serving the world.   Continue reading “Mikulski Urges Conferees to Reject Draconian Increases to Federal Employees’ Retirement Contributions as Work on Budget Deal Continues”

GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts

GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts

Published December 05, 2013

FoxNews.com

RTREIRE.jpgAn aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington.Reuters

Two Republican lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would require federal employees to contribute more of their salary toward retiree benefits in order to offset deep cuts to the Defense Department.

The “Provide for the Common Defense Act,” introduced by Reps. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., and Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., would eliminate sequester-related budget cuts for the Pentagon over the next two years, the lawmakers said in a statement.

The legislation increases federal employee’s contributions toward their retirement costs, from 0.8 percent to 2.0 percent of pay, over a three-year period. The bill would also eliminate the Federal Employee Retirement System Annuity Supplement for new employees.   Continue reading “GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts”

Amid Talks of Pension Contribution Hikes, Lawmakers Speak Out for Feds

Amid Talks of Pension Contribution Hikes, Lawmakers Speak Out for Feds

“Hardworking federal employees have already had to weather a government shutdown and have made a substantial sacrifice over the last several years to help bring down the deficit,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said.

“Hardworking federal employees have already had to weather a government shutdown and have made a substantial sacrifice over the last several years to help bring down the deficit,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said. Charles Dharapak/AP

Lawmakers in Congress are reportedly considering a budget deal that would effectively cut pay to federal employees, and some members of both parties have voiced their stark opposition to any such measure.

Negotiators in a conference committee created as part of the deal to reopen government after the 16-day shutdown in October have until Dec. 13 to recommend a plan to fund government past Jan. 15. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the respective House and Senate Budget Committee leaders and their parties’ head representatives in the conference negotiations, are discussing increasing federal employees’ contributions to their retirement pensions as part of an effort to offset some of the scheduled budget cuts known as sequestration.

President Obama included in his fiscal 2014 budget a proposal to increase feds’ retirement fund contribution from 0.8 percent of their salaries to 2 percent, and House Republicans also pitched that change Tuesday in a bill to offset just the Defense Department portion of sequestration cuts.  While the details of any conference committee deal remain unclear and are still being negotiated, several lawmakers from both chambers of Congress blasted any cuts to federal employees’ pay or benefits. Continue reading “Amid Talks of Pension Contribution Hikes, Lawmakers Speak Out for Feds”

Government Pensions Under Fire Once Again

Government Pensions Under Fire Once Again

Liberal supporters circle the wagons.

Government Pensions Under Fire Once Again

Liberal supporters circle the wagons.

– See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/12/04/Government-Pensions-Under-Fire-Once-Again#sthash.lN8STRLK.0eO3rmfa.dpufGovernment Pensions Under Fire Once Again

 

Liberal supporters circle the wagons.

– See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/12/04/Government-Pensions-Under-Fire-Once-Again#sthash.lN8STRLK.0eO3rmfa.dpuf

Eric Pianin The Fiscal Times December 4, 2013

The heat is on unions again because of what many believe are overly generous benefits to government workers – especially as compared to those of private-sector workers. In Detroit, unions are up in arms over the new threat to city workers’ pensions in light of a federal judge’s decision that Detroit can move forward with the largest municipal bankruptcy proceeding in history – a threat to pensions that could reverberate throughout the country.

Now the potential budget deal between House Republican Paul Ryan and Senate Democrat Patty Murray – who are racing to meet a Dec. 13 deadline – proposes requiring federal workers to pay substantially more for their retirement benefits. The proposal has made the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), furious.

On Wednesday Mikulski sought to head off the proposal as part of the emerging budget deal to cancel the sequester for at least two years. Continue reading “Government Pensions Under Fire Once Again”

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