Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Summary of Elements Impacting Feds:

1. Post-12/31/13 hires will pay an additional 1.3% toward their pensions, for total of 4.4%

2. FEHB will add a ‘self plus one’ option, which inevitably increases family plan premiums

3. Contractor salary reimbursement cap dropped to $487,000

4. The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. (Washington Post) Continue reading “Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points”

Spared from Pension Hikes

Spared from Pension Hikes

  • By Tammy Flanagan National Institute of Transition Planning
  • December 13, 2013
martellostudio/Shutterstock.com

I’ve recently conducted several webinars, and each included a question-and-answer period at the end. But there were many more questions than I had time to answer. So I thought I’d address some of them here.

In the current fiscal environment and pressures of sequestration, how likely is it that changes will be made to the federal retirement rules and benefits in the next year or two?

I don’t like to be the one to say “I told you so,” but I did. I keep my optimism that Congress won’t make too many changes to the retirement benefits of federal employees since this group represents such a large voting population and federal employees are well-represented in in the political system by a variety of labor unions and associations. Continue reading “Spared from Pension Hikes”

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”

Democrats: Leave Federal Employees Alone

Democrats: Leave Federal Employees Alone

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, introduced a resolution “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives supporting federal employees.”
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, introduced a resolution “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives supporting federal employees.” Susan Walsh/AP

House Democrats are calling on budget negotiators to protect federal employees and their benefits, arguing the federal workforce has already borne the brunt of too many cuts.

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, introduced a resolution “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives supporting federal employees,” and dozens of her colleagues have signed on.

“Federal employees inspect the food we eat and the places we work, prevent the flow of illicit drugs into our nation, maintain the safety of our nation’s borders, care for our nation’s veterans, deliver our mail and keep the national defense systems prepared to respond to any threat to our safety,” the resolution states. Continue reading “Democrats: Leave Federal Employees Alone”

Will There Be a Pay Raise This Year?

Federal Salary Council

First of all, Federal employees do not get “cost-of-living” adjustments to their pay.  Rather, the Federal Salary Council (“FSC“), an advisory body of the Executive Branch of the United States Government, established under the provisions of the Section 5304(e)(1) of Title 5 of the United States Code, provides recommendations on the locality pay program created by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990.

The locality pay program provides for localized pay differentials (also known as comparability payments) for Federal employees paid under the General Schedule (GS) who work in the 48 CONtinental United States (CONUS).

The President of the United States appoints the members of the FSC, which include three experts in labor relations and pay policy and six representatives of Federal labor unions and other employee organizations representing large numbers of GS employees.
Currently, AFGE National President J. David Cox and Public Policy Director Jacqueline Simon serve on the FSC, having been appointed by President Barack Obama on November 9, 2010.

The FSC submits recommendations on the locality pay program to the President’s Pay Agent. The FSC’s recommendations cover the establishment or modification of pay localities, the coverage of salary surveys (conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics) used to set locality pay, the process for making pay comparisons, and the level of comparability payments that should be made.
The FSC’s recommendations are advisory only and are not binding on the President.
However, it is the President’s Pay Agent makes the final determination as to the establishment or disestablishment of locality pay areas and also makes the final recommendation to the President regarding the amount of the annual Federal pay increase (if any).

History of the FY 2013 Pay Raise

On January 6, 2012, President Obama proposed a 0.5 percent pay raise for Federal employees, that would be reflected in its FY 2013 budget proposal to Congress.  Here is what a O.5% pay raise looks like for various example salaries, versus the previous pay raise which Federal employees received amounting to 2.01% for FY 2010 (our last pay raise of record).    Continue reading “Will There Be a Pay Raise This Year?”