Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions

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Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions

 
AFGE logo. (PRNewsFoto/American Federation of Government Employees)

AFGE rejects notion that there should be trade-off between federal programs and federal employees

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement in response to the budget deal announced today by the Budget Conference Committee:

“Despite the extraordinarily hard work of several Congressional leaders, AFGE cannot support any budget deal that asks for more from federal employees. AFGE represents more than just the 670,000 federal and D.C government employees on the rolls today, but every other federal worker who will one day take the oath and be forced to live with this needless pension cut.

“AFGE rejects the notion that there should be a trade-off between funding the programs to which federal employees have devoted their lives, and their own livelihoods. Though the $6 billion in increased retirement contributions for new employees is less severe than the administration’s $20 billion proposal, it is still unacceptable.

“Newly hired federal employees already pay 3.1% of their salaries toward their defined benefit pension and 6.2% to Social Security. Forcing employees hired after 2013 to pay an additional 1.3% — for a total of 4.4% — toward their pension will make it all but impossible for them to fund their Thrift Savings Plan accounts.  The result will be a serious shortfall in their retirement income security, and a substantial lowering of their standard of living. Continue reading “Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions”

Budget deal is sealed

 

December 10, 2013, 07:00 pm

Budget deal is sealed

By Russell Berman, Erik Wasson and Mike Lillis

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a budget deal Tuesday evening that would call for about $1 trillion in federal spending in 2014 while replacing some sequestration cuts.

The deal replaces $63 billion in sequester cuts over two years and trims an additional $23 billion in long-term deficits.

“This deal doesn’t solve all of our problems, but I think it is an important step to heal some of the wounds here in Congress,” Murray said in a joint press conference with Ryan at the Capitol.Ryan, the architect of House Republican budget proposals in recent years, called the agreement “a step in the right direction” and defended the deal as consistent with conservative principles. He noted that it reduced the deficit by $23 billion without raising taxes and said it was the first budget agreement with divided government in Washington since 1986. Continue reading “Budget deal is sealed”

Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions

Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions

“One of the most difficult challenges we faced as we worked through this, was the issue of federal employees and military,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., during a press conference with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
“One of the most difficult challenges we faced as we worked through this, was the issue of federal employees and military,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., during a press conference with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

New federal employees and military retirees would have to contribute more to their pensions under the bipartisan deal the congressional budget conference committee unveiled Tuesday evening.

Federal workers hired on or after Jan. 1, 2014, with less than five years of service would have to pay 4.4 percent toward their defined retirement benefit — 1.3 percent more than the current 3.1 percent that employees hired after 2012 contribute.

Military retirees under the age of 62 would see a decrease, phased-in over the next two years, to the calculation of their cost-of-living adjustment, equal to inflation minus 1 percent. “This change would be gradually phased in, with no change for the current year, a 0.25 percent decrease in December 2014, and a 0.5 percent decrease in December 2015,” according to a summary of the deal. The change would not affect service members who retired because of injury or disability. Continue reading “Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions”

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”

Weary budget negotiators near deal to avert standoff

The Seattle Times

Weary budget negotiators near deal to avert standoff

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are nearing a budget deal that amounts to little more than a cease-fire.

By Lori Montgomery The Washington Post

  Sen. Patty Murray

Sen. Patty Murray

WASHINGTON — House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington.

The deal expected to be sealed this week on Capitol Hill would not significantly reduce the debt, now $17.3 trillion and rising. It would not close corporate tax loopholes or reform expensive health-care and retirement programs. It would not even fully replace sharp spending cuts known as the sequester, the negotiators’ primary target.

After more than two years of constant crisis, the emerging agreement amounts to little more than a cease-fire. Republicans and Democrats are abandoning their debt-reduction goals, laying down arms and, for the moment, trying to avoid another economy-damaging standoff. Continue reading “Weary budget negotiators near deal to avert standoff”