April Brings a Reprieve in Federal Retirement Applications

April Brings a Reprieve in Federal Retirement Applications

The Office of Personnel Management got some breathing room last month to deal with the federal retirement backlog, receiving fewer new claims in April than expected.

OPM reported that it received 7,059 new retirement applications last month, slightly under the 8,000 it projected and the fewest so far in 2013, according to the latest statistics. The agency experienced an influx of 52,744 new claims between January and March alone, a 51 percent increase from the same period last year.

The backlog now stands at 30,080 claims, down 18 percent since March and 17 percent since January. Continue reading “April Brings a Reprieve in Federal Retirement Applications”

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”

Health premiums for feds will increase 3.4 percent in 2013

Health premiums for feds will increase 3.4 percent in 2013

Gunnar Pippel/Shutterstock.com

This story has been updated.

Premiums for nonpostal enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will increase an average of 3.4 percent in 2013, the Office of Personnel Management announced Thursday. The average health care premium increase for U.S. Postal Service employees for 2013 will be 3.8 percent.

Of that increase, government contributions will rise 3.3 percent, while participants will pay 3.7 percent more in 2013. In dollars, that means FEHB enrollees with self-only coverage will pay on average $2.75 more per biweekly pay period and enrollees with family coverage will pay an average of $6.39 extra per pay period. Changes in the enrollee share of premiums vary from plan to plan. The government pays on average about 70 percent of health benefits premiums. Continue reading “Health premiums for feds will increase 3.4 percent in 2013”