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”

Sequestration Can’t Touch Certain Pay and Benefits

Pay & Benefits Watch

Sequestration Can’t Touch Certain Pay and Benefits
By Kellie Lunney

Way back in August 2011, a Maryland senator explained to a roomful of his constituents the benefits of an obscure budget procedure known as sequestration.

Democrat Ben Cardin held a town hall meeting with Census Bureau employees last summer in Suitland, Md., fielding questions from nervous feds on the issues du jour and how they would affect pay and benefits. The topics ranged from the debt ceiling; the then-looming government shutdown; the civilian pay freeze; proposals to increase feds’ pension contributions; and the deficit reduction options under consideration by the congressional super committee, now better known as the failure that could trigger sequestration. Continue reading “Sequestration Can’t Touch Certain Pay and Benefits”

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”