Impact of budgetary hit to federal retirement weighed

Impact of budgetary hit to federal retirement weighed

Requiring federal employees to pay more toward their retirement benefits would have an uncertain effect on recruitment of new workers but likely would spur some current employees to leave earlier than they would have otherwise, according to a recent analysis done for Congress.

Increasing the required contributions, and the potential impact of doing so, has been under consideration in negotiations over budget levels for the remainder of the current government fiscal year and for fiscal 2015.

Federal employee advocates: No pension hikes in budget deal

Federal employee advocates: No pension hikes in budget deal

As closed-door congressional budget talks appear likely to drag into the weekend, federal workforce groups are warily watching for signals that a deal on a 2014 spending bill could entail higher employee pension contributions.

“I would take them very seriously,” said Bruce Moyer, counsel for the Federal-Postal Coalition, made up of some 31 unions and other organizations. Although influential Democratic lawmakers like House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland oppose any cuts to federal pay and benefits, “we take no final solace in the support that our champions have provided in the past,” Moyer said. Continue reading “Federal employee advocates: No pension hikes in budget deal”

Budget negotiators face alarm from federal workers

Budget negotiators face alarm from federal workers

By Lisa Desjardins CNN Congressional Reporter
POSTED: 8:14 PM Dec 05 2013
WASHINGTON (CNN) -A top lobbying group for federal workers rushed to Capitol Hill Thursday, following news that budget negotiators were considering a $20 billion change in government workers’ paychecks. The fast pushback is a potential political issue for budget leaders who aides say have been getting closer to a deal.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, who sits on the budget compromise committee, told reporters Thursday that Republicans were pushing for, and negotiators have been discussing, a proposal to increase how much most federal workers contribute toward their pension. A senior Republican House aide confirmed to CNN that the idea has been on the table in spending talks.

“This is something we strongly oppose,” said Jessica Klement, spokeswoman for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, or NARFE. Out of breath while walking between congressional offices, Klement told CNN she is worried that the change may already be a done deal. Continue reading “Budget negotiators face alarm from federal workers”

Democrats criticize emerging budget deal

Democrats criticize emerging budget deal

By: Ginger Gibson
December 5, 2013 04:19 PM EST


Steny Hoyer (left) and Chris Van Hollen are shown. | AP PhotoTop House Democrats are unhappy with elements of an emerging budget deal that they say abandons the party’s principles.


Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top House Democrat on the budget conference committee, is upset that the budget deal might not include a call for new taxes. The framework, being negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), would likely raise revenue from fee increases.


Van Hollen said such an arrangement amounts to abandoning the middle class.


“As these talks have unnecessarily dragged on these priorities are at risk of being left behind,” the Maryland Democrat said. Continue reading “Democrats criticize emerging budget deal”

Budget Talks Target One-Year Deal as Lawmakers Protest

Budget Talks Target One-Year Deal as Lawmakers Protest

By Heidi Przybyla and Peter Cook December 05, 2013

Budget Talks Narrow to One Year Deal as Lawmakers ProtestU.S. budget negotiators plan to work this weekend from a shrinking menu of options to ease automatic spending cuts for as little as one year amid objections from some groups and lawmakers, said people familiar with the talks.

A potential compromise being crafted by the two leaders of a 29-member panel is drawing protests from Democrats and also from groups including federal employees, who could contribute more to their pensions under the proposal, and airlines, which could face higher fees. Some Republicans are concerned that a bipartisan deal will replace spending cuts set in law with promises of future savings that might not be realized.

Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray, the lead negotiators, probably won’t find it easier to reach a deal by narrowing the options, said Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

“This has been a negotiation of subtraction,” said Van Hollen, citing Republican opposition to ending corporate tax breaks, a proposal Democrats favor. Continue reading “Budget Talks Target One-Year Deal as Lawmakers Protest”