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Shutdown updates

Govexec is reporting that the back-pay bill for furloughed federal workers, which passed the House and has the verbal support of the President, is delayed in the Senate. "While the bill enjoys broad support ... several Republicans reportedly oppose the legislation’s swift passage ... and want the opportunity to offer amendments." For the full story, see:
http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2013/10/back-pay-bill-senate-limbo/7...

Philadelphia area events

There are informational pickets about the shutdown going on in Philadelphia all week:
10/8, noon-2 PM: National Park Service: 520 Chestnut
10/9, noon-2 PM: Philadelphia Federal Workers: 100 Penn Sq East
10/10, 7 AM: Meet at 3rd and Chestnut for buses to Washington, DC

Shutdown updates

EPA is instructing furloughed employees that official travel is canceled through October 13, and employees should cancel reservations they made outside GovTrip.

The bill to grant back pay to furloughed employees passed the House. It needs to pass the Senate and be signed by the President before it becomes law. If it becomes law, employees will not be eligible for unemployment benefits, but will receive pay from the federal government sometime after the shutdown ends.

Possibility of back pay for furloughed employees?

Govexec is reporting, "The House will vote Saturday on a widely supported bill to grant furloughed federal employees retroactive pay upon the reopening of government, Republican leaders have announced. The bill is expected to pass with bipartisan support ..." Identical legislation has reportedly been introduced in the Senate. As Govexec notes, "In previous government shutdowns, Congress has always approved retroactive pay for the federal workforce, and employee groups and unions have repeatedly called on Congress to again ensure compensation.

Unemployment compensation during shutdown

Here is the link to the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation site, where they have posted special instructions for furloughed federal workers:

http://www.uc.pa.gov/portal/server.pt/community/uc_pa_gov/11449

The 2012 open season is underway

Open season started November 12 and continues through December 10. This is your chance to change your enrollment for health, dental, and vision insurance; and for the leave bank. Also, if you want to enroll in the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) for health-care or dependent-care costs for 2013, you must do so now. Unlike health insurance, FSA enrollments do not automatically carry over from year to year! The allowable maximum for the health-care FSA has been lowered to $2500 this year, but the limit for a dependent-care FSA remains $5000.

Federal retirement information conveniently summarized

Tammy Flanagan of the Government Executive website has posted a comprehensive summary of articles about understanding the federal retirement systems:

http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/retirement-planning/2012/09/back-bas...

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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