Bill would end pensions for new feds

Bill would end pensions for new feds

Nov. 18, 2013 – 06:00AM   |  By SEAN REILLY   |
Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing Recent IRSSen. 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.

Continue reading “Bill would end pensions for new feds”

Federal workforce dips 20 percent since May 2010 peak

Federal workforce dips 20 percent since May 2010 peak

Jun. 10, 2013 – 01:52PM   |  By STEPHEN LOSEY   |

The total federal workforce dropped by 14,000 employees in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said June 7, bringing the government’s staffing levels to its lowest point in more than five years.

May’s decline means federal payrolls — including U.S. Postal Service workers — have now dropped by 45,000 over the last three months. There are now 2,748,000 federal employees in the government — the lowest since February 2008, when there were 2,747,000 federal workers. The federal workforce has now fallen 20 percent since its peak in May 2010, when there were 3,415,000 employees. Continue reading “Federal workforce dips 20 percent since May 2010 peak”

Support S. 316 and H.R. 630: The Postal Service Protection Act

IMPORTANT: This information should not be downloaded using government equipment, read during duty time or sent to others using government equipment, because it suggests action to be taken in support or against legislation. Do not use your government email address or government phone in contacting your Member of Congress.

Support S. 316 and H.R. 630: The Postal Service Protection Act

Over the past several years, there have been numerous measures introduced in the House and Senate to address the Postal Service’s financial condition and to facilitate a viable future for one of America’s most useful and popular institutions. Many of these bills had important components to return the Postal Service to operating as a financially sound company, while many others completely miss the mark, favoring efforts to dismantle the Postal Service rather to save it. However, S. 316 and H.R. 630, both titled “The Postal Service Protection Act,” are the only pieces of legislation that include all the key provisions necessary to return the Postal Service to financial health in both the short and long terms, while preserving its vital networks, high-quality service standards and solid middle-class jobs.

Please Sign the Petition

Eliminating the future retiree health benefit pre-funding requirement.

The most immediate problem facing the Postal Service is the requirement to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. The Postal Service is the only organization, public or private, that is required by law to prefund such benefits. This unfair burden costs USPS between $5.4 billion and $5.8 billion every year. Without the pre-funding requirement, the Postal Service would have had an operational profit between 2007 and 2010. If passed, S. 316 and H.R. 630 would eliminate the USPS’s unique and unfairly burdensome pre-funding requirement. Continue reading “Support S. 316 and H.R. 630: The Postal Service Protection Act”

Furloughs Vary Widely At Government Agencies Amid Sequestration Cuts

Furloughs Vary Widely At Government Agencies Amid Sequestration Cuts

By SAM HANANEL 03/08/13 03:04 PM ET EST

 2013 Furloughs

WASHINGTON — First there was a two-year pay freeze. Now furloughs loom, as federal agencies make personnel costs a prime target for across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect last week. The result: anxiety and low morale in a workforce often envied for its job security.

“It would certainly put a strain on things,” said Jonathan Schweizer, 61, an environmental engineer at the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago who could be forced to take up to 13 days of unpaid leave this year. “I’d probably have to run up some credit card debt or defer maintenance on my home that I’d otherwise consider important.” Continue reading “Furloughs Vary Widely At Government Agencies Amid Sequestration Cuts”

Some Agencies Won’t Need Furloughs Under Sequester

Some Agencies Won’t Need Furloughs Under Sequester

GAO head Gene Dodaro
GAO head Gene Dodaro Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Sequestration will not bring furloughs at every agency, as some leaders have said they can reduce their budgets in other areas to avoid requiring employees to take unpaid leave.

The Small Business Administration will rely on an anticipated reduction in a certain type of loan to cut costs, should sequestration go into effect March 1, according to an Associated Press report. Outgoing Administrator Karen Mills said fewer 504 loans — which spiked last year due to a now-expired provision allowing them to be used to refinance mortgages — will account for most of the cuts, and furloughs will not be necessary. Continue reading “Some Agencies Won’t Need Furloughs Under Sequester”