OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog

OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog

This story has been updated.

The Office of Personnel Management is offering buyouts and early retirement packages to hundreds of employees across the agency, according to a memorandum from Acting Director Elaine Kaplan.

OPM received approval to offer 299 buyouts and early outs to employees and will send individual emails to eligible workers on June 17, said Kaplan in the May 31 memo, obtained by Government Executive. OPM is using its flexibility to address a tight budget, Kaplan said, but the voluntary employee departures could have other consequences. The agency is offering 17 buyouts to employees in its retirement services division, the office responsible for processing retirement applications and clearing up the current backlog. The 17 buyouts are “limited to non-supervisory employees who are eligible for optional/regular retirement,” according to agency documents.

There are 955 employees in OPM’s retirement services division. Continue reading “OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog”

Obama budget proposes hike in pension contributions for feds

Obama budget proposes hike in pension contributions for feds

Copies of the Obama Administration's proposed FY 2014 federal budget are on display before going on sale at the Government Printing Office Book Store on April 10 in Washington.

Copies of the Obama Administration’s proposed FY 2014 federal budget are on display before going on sale at the Government Printing Office Book Store on April 10 in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

President Obama’s budget plan for 2014 proposes increasing the retirement contributions for federal employees hired before 2013 by 1.2 percentage points, phased in over three years, as part of his fiscal 2014 budget.

This would bring the contributions of Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) workers up from 0.8 percent to 2.0 percent, and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees’ contributions up from 7 percent to 8.2 percent. Obama proposed the same increase last year, as part of his fiscal 2013 budget request. Continue reading “Obama budget proposes hike in pension contributions for feds”

How the sequester will affect you

 How the sequester will affect you

Mar. 1, 2013 – 04:33PM   |  By STEPHEN LOSEY   |

Employees are desperate for information on how furloughs will affect them. Here is what Federal Times has learned about how they will work, based on interviews with government officials and the Office of Personnel Management’s furlough guidance.

Q. How long will I be furloughed?

A. That depends on your agency, and on how much flexibility it has they have to absorb the sequestration cuts. The Defense Department, for example, expects to furlough nearly its entire civilian workforce employees for 22 days. Customs and Border Protection, on the other hand, will would furlough employees only for up to 14 days if sequestration goes into effect. And the IRS told the National Treasury Employees Union that it may have to furlough employees for five to seven days.

Q. When will my furlough begin?

A. Probably in mid- to late April. Defense plans to notify employees in mid-March that they will likely be furloughed, which then starts a 30-day notification clock before they can be officially furloughed. CBP will also plans to notify its furloughed employees in mid-March. But the IRS told NTEU that its employees will likely be furloughed this summer. Continue reading “How the sequester will affect you”

Protecting federal pay and benefits remains top priority for union

Protecting federal pay and benefits remains top priority for union

AFGE president J. David Cox also said it’s not necessary to increase the amount federal employees contribute to their pensions.

AFGE president J. David Cox also said it’s not necessary to increase the amount federal employees contribute to their pensions. AFGE photo

Protecting federal workers’ pay and benefits remains a top priority as attention turns to how Congress and the Obama administration will handle the looming fiscal cliff, said the leader of a large federal employee union the day after the 2012 presidential election.

J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, expressed confidence during a conference call with reporters that feds will receive a pay raise in 2013, and that it will be made retroactive to January. President Obama, re-elected to a second term on Tuesday, has recommended a 0.5 percent pay increase for feds when Congress passes a budget next year. Obama and lawmakers extended the current two-year civilian pay freeze through March 27, when the current continuing resolution keeping the government running expires. Continue reading “Protecting federal pay and benefits remains top priority for union”

Eight Tips for Setting Your Retirement Goals

Eight Tips for Setting Your Retirement Goals

  • By Tammy Flanagan; National Institute of Transition Planning; September 14, 2012Retirement Planning

Do you know how much you will have to save to retire comfortably? Have you set a goal for retirement? Or are you flying by the seat of your pants?

Last week, I wrote about planning for retirement from early in your career. Here’s a comment I received from a reader about that column:

Another suggestion that I didn’t think of until a couple of years ago is to assess what your retirement plans are and how much money you need to meet those goals. Otherwise, you read that you need X precent of your salary in retirement or look at numbers that don’t have a lot of meaning, all of which can feel overwhelming. We were pleasantly surprised when meeting with a financial planner how much we would actually need to meet our retirement goals. We moved our Thrift Savings Plan balance to a more aggressive life-cycle fund because we won’t need it for seven to 10 years after retirement. Continue reading “Eight Tips for Setting Your Retirement Goals”