House panel rejects proposal to end feds’ mass transit benefit

House panel rejects proposal to end feds’ mass transit benefit

Susan Walsh/AP file photo

This story has been updated.

A proposal to end the mass transit subsidy benefit for federal employees to help pay for disaster recovery is off the table.

The House Rules Committee rejected the amendment related to the transit benefit offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., to the Sandy storm relief bill. The House voted down a separate amendment from Mulvaney that would impose across-the-board spending cuts of 1.63 percent for all federal agencies. The chamber began debate on the emergency appropriations legislation Tuesday afternoon and was expected to vote on the final package in the evening. Continue reading “House panel rejects proposal to end feds’ mass transit benefit”

Retirement claims surge in September

Retirement claims surge in September

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The Office of Personnel Management processed more retirement claims in September than in August, after receiving thousands more applications last month.

OPM completed 12,563 retirement claims in September — the most claims processed in a single month so far this year and 1,063 more than it expected to complete last month. The agency received 11,952 new claims in September, 4,952 more than it anticipated, and 2,979 more than it received in August. The backlog now stands at 41,176 claims, down 33 percent since January. Continue reading “Retirement claims surge in September”

Forget the Pay Freeze: Start Worrying About Health Care Costs

Pay & Benefits Watch

Forget the Pay Freeze: Start Worrying About Health Care Costs

Buried in the news over the extended federal pay freeze, the impending fiscal cliff and the umpteenth continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown is this fact: Many military retirees will be paying a little more for their health care as of Oct. 1.

Day 1 of fiscal 2013 means that some TRICARE Prime beneficiaries now will have to pay $39 to $79 more than they currently do in annual enrollment fees. Specifically, TRICARE Prime military retirees who enrolled in the health care program before Oct. 1, 2011, will pay an annual fee of $269.28 for individual coverage as of Oct. 1, 2012; those with the family plan will pay $538.56 per year under the adjustment. Those beneficiaries — all under the age of 65 — currently pay $260 per year in enrollment costs for the individual plan and $460 for family coverage. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act allows for the annual increase of TRICARE Prime enrollment fees for most retired beneficiaries based on the annual cost-of-living increase. Continue reading “Forget the Pay Freeze: Start Worrying About Health Care Costs”