Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., questions current and former IRS employees May 21 before the Senate Finance Committee in Washington. (Getty Images)
Newly hired federal employees would not be eligible for traditional pensions under a bill reintroduced last week by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and two colleagues.
The measure, which would also apply to new members of Congress, would end the defined benefit portion of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for employees who come on board starting six months after it is signed into law, according to a news release from Burr’s office.
New federal employees could still participate in the Thrift Savings Plan,the federal government’s equivalent of a 401(k)-type program under which agencies match employees’ contributions up to 5 percent of their salaries.
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The Public-Private Employees Retirement Parity Act was introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. (left); Richard Burr, R-N.C.; and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. (not pictured) J. Scott Applewhite/AP
A group of Republican senators has introduced a bill to slash retirement pensions for new federal employees, saying the current system unfairly compensates public-sector workers as compared to their private-sector counterparts.
The Public-Private Employees Retirement Parity Act, introduced by Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would eliminate the defined benefit portion of the Federal Employees Retirement System for all new government workers hired six months after its enactment. New employees would still receive matching agency contributions into their Thrift Savings Plan of up to 5 percent.
“Right now, federal government workers receive far more generous retirement benefits than private-sector employees,” said Burr, who sponsored a similar bill in 2011 that never made it out of committee. “The cost to taxpayers of these benefits is unsustainable and we simply cannot afford it. We cannot ask taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for public employee benefits that are far more generous than their own.”
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