budget

A budget deal--at workers' expense

Congress has passed, and the President is expected to sign, a bipartisan two-year budget agreement. The deal partly repeals some of the sequestration cuts, but requires increased pension contributions from federal employees hired on or after 1/1/2014. Those employees will have to pay 4.4% toward their pensions, but will not receive larger pensions as a result. Military retirees will also receive lower COLAs (cost-of-living adjustments) on their pensions until age 62. AFGE opposed these measures.

Federal retirement benefits under attack ... again

Govexec reports that Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO) will introduce a bill to get rid of budget caps at the Department of Defense ... while cutting Social Security and federal retiree benefits (by changing the way cost-of-living increases are calculated), more than doubling the amount federal workers pay toward their pensions, and eliminating the FERS supplement for employees who retire before they are eligible for Social Security. These retirement-cutting proposals were also endorsed by President Obama in his 2014 budget.

What federal workers have already given

In the running of this government and in budget negotiations, there has been talk of "shared sacrifice" and "compromise." Here is what has already been taken from federal workers in recent years:
Three years, and counting, of pay freezes;
New employees required to contribute more toward their retirement;
Payment into federal retirement funds suspended as part of the "extraordinary measures" used by Treasury Secretary Lew to keep the government operating even after the debt ceiling was hit in May 2013;

Continuing resolution passed; pay freeze continues

On Saturday, Congress approved a continuing resolution to fund the government through March 27, 2013. This means the pay freeze for federal workers will continue at least through that date. For more details: http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2012/09/congress-approves-extended-p...

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