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House Panel Approves Federal Pension Increase

Written by FEDmanager on . Posted in From the Hill

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a pension hike for federal employees last week in a 19-15 vote, and the legislation now heads to the house Budget Committee for consideration.

Under the legislation, current federal employees would be required to pay 5 percent more toward their retirement over the next five years beginning in 2013. The increase would be adopted incrementally, with federal workers paying 1.5 percent more in 2013; 0.5 percent extra in 2014; and an additional 1 percent more annually in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Employees hired after 2012 would have to start contributing the extra 5 percent immediately.

Currently, federal workers under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) contribute 0.8 percent of their salaries to their pensions, while federal employees enrolled in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) contribute 7 percent. The bill would result in FERS employees contributing 5.8 percent of their salaries to their pensions, plus contributions to Social Security and their Thrift Savings Plan accounts, and CSRS employees contributing 12 percent by 2017.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the pension increase was created to help reduce the deficit. The budget resolution passed by the House asked the committee to create $79 billion in savings over the next ten years.

“Let’s make it perfectly clear,” he said, “reductions in federal pensions are not intended to reflect in any way on the hardworking men and women in the federal workforce.”

Several unions have expressed their criticisms of the legislation, which they characterize as another attack on federal employees’ pay and benefits.

“I can assure you that if Congress continues to cut federal employees’ pay and benefits, this country will be unable to attract or retain talented people in the federal government,” said National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley in a letter to committee members.

From the Hill

Congress Asks GAO to Study Trends in Federal Employee Morale

A trio of lawmakers has requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study “recent trends in federal employee morale, including possible root causes and steps the federal government can take to improve engagement.”

The request came from three of the top Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, including ranking member Elijah Cummings (MD-7), ranking member of the subcommittee on the federal workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and the Census, Stephen Lynch (MA-8), and ranking member of the subcommittee on government operations Gerry Connolly (VA-11).

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Educate Yourself

GovSec 2014

GovSec 2014, the nation’s premier homeland security conference, is right around the corner. The only event that brings together everything you need to be ready when it counts. This year's conference runs from May 13-15 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Highlighted on this year’s agenda will be Thomas Donilon, former National Security Advisor and Avi Dichter, a former director of the Israel Security Agency. Also featured will be a panel of local, state and federal officials who were actively involved in last year’s response to the Boston Marathon bombing, including identifying the suspects and capturing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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Case Law Update

MSPB Finds No Due Process Violation Where Employee Responded to Uncharged Misconduct

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) employee was investigated by ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility (“OPR”) after her ex-husband alleged she had misused the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (“TECS”) for personal gain. In January 2010, the agency proposed to remove the employee based on four separate charges, including misuse of TECS, failure to declare income, lack of candor, and failure to cooperate, but did not allege in the proposal notice that she had shared the information she obtained from TECS with her ex-husband or any other “unauthorized” individuals. The employee responded to the proposal orally and in writing, but the agency ultimately sustained all four charges and directed the employee’s removal effective June 18, 2010. 

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GEICO's Good Stuff

Join The Public Service Recognition Week Thunderclap

GEICO’s Good Stuff is a column series highlighting great stuff happening in the federal community.

Today, public servants are more vital to our nation’s health than ever. They are on the front lines guarding our national security, shoring up the economy, caring for veterans and providing essential services to the American people.

That’s why during Public Service Recognition Week (May 4-10), we urge you to take a moment to reflect on the importance of these unsung heroes and thank the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees.

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