Mass Transit Benefit Will Drop In 2014

Mass Transit Benefit Will Drop In 2014

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The mass transit tax benefit used by thousands of federal employees will drop significantly in 2014, while the maximum parking benefit will increase by $5.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, commuters will be able to use up to $130 in monthly pre-tax dollars to subsidize their mass transit costs — $115 less than the current maximum of $245 per month. The parking benefit will increase to $250 per month next year, up from the current $245 cap. Something similar happened in 2012, when the cap on the mass transit benefit was $125 per month, and the limit on the parking benefit was $240 per month.

The upcoming changes are a result of the 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act, also known as the fiscal cliff deal. That law restored parity between the mass transit and parking benefits, but only for 2013. The mass transit increase for 2013 was temporary, which is why the cap will be smaller in 2014; the change for the monthly parking limit is a permanent provision in the law so the annual cost-of-living adjustment will boost the maximum benefit to $250 per month next year.

Continue reading “Mass Transit Benefit Will Drop In 2014”

Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably

October 18, 2013

Pew ResearchTrust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably

62% Have Positive View of Federal Workers

Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Trust in Government Again Near All-Time LowJust 19% say that they trust the government in Washington to do what is right just about always or most of the time, down seven points since January. The current measure matches the level reached in August 2011, following the last battle over the debt ceiling. Explore a Pew Research interactive on Public Trust in Government: 1958-2013. Continue reading “Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably”

Back Pay Is On the Way

Back Pay Is On the Way

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The government shutdown is over and payroll is back up and running. By the end of this week, most of the federal workforce will have received retroactive pay for the 16-day shutdown.

In fact, thousands of federal employees already have received back pay to make whole the partial paycheck they got during the shutdown, which lasted from Oct. 1 through Oct. 16. The Interior Business Center, run by the Interior Department, handles payroll for 42 government agencies and 240,000 federal employees. IBC deposited back pay on Tuesday to employees directly affected by the shutdown — a week before their regularly scheduled paycheck on Oct. 29, according to a Federal Times report. Perhaps this makes up for IBC’s data entry error last month that delayed the paychecks of 40,000 employees. IBC is the payroll provider for agencies including Interior, NASA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Continue reading “Back Pay Is On the Way”

More feds may receive early back pay Thursday

More feds may receive early back pay Thursday

Employees of the Internal Revenue Service and Customs and Border Protection may receive back pay for the recent shutdown period as early as Thursday, according to the agencies and their payroll processors.

A US Border Patrol agent stands near a crossing to Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty Images).

A US Border Patrol agent stands near a crossing to Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty Images).

Monday is the next regularly scheduled pay date for both organizations, but some agencies are trying to rush funds to their workers after they went without checks during the 16-day government closure. Continue reading “More feds may receive early back pay Thursday”

What Exactly is Fair in Federal Compensation?

What Exactly is Fair in Federal Compensation?

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When it comes to pay, fairness is an elusive concept. What is too much, too little, just right? The answers depend on who’s talking, and when they’re talking.

This is why the debate about whether federal employees are over- or underpaid rages on. It’s complicated, relative, and, of course, political.

Federal compensation once again dominated government news headlines this week. Furloughs for 650,000 Defense Department civilians across the country began on Monday, guaranteeing those employees smaller paychecks this summer. Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Danny Werfel said he wants to get rid of performance bonuses in 2013 to reduce the number of furlough days employees are forced to take. And the Senior Executives Association is trying to reignite a discussion of pay compression, a byproduct of the government’s imperfect pay systems. Continue reading “What Exactly is Fair in Federal Compensation?”