Cantor Calls for Increased Federal Employee Retirement Contributions

On Thursday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) refreshed his call to replace sequestration with more targeted reductions, including revisions to the federal employee retirement program.

“Rather than take border patrol agents off the job, the President should instead choose to reform the federal employee retirement system so it matches what people get in the private sector,” Cantor said in a statement.

“Virtually no one has both a defined benefit and a defined contribution retirement system in the private sector,” said Rory Cooper, a Cantor spokesman. “We wouldn’t eliminate it, but we would make the employer (taxpayer) subsidy less generous.”

Over the past several years numerous proposals have been introduced to increase federal employee contributions toward retirement. In 2011 President Obama recommended to the budgetary “supercommittee” an increase by 1.2% over three years. The White House included the same recommendation in its fiscal year 2013 budget, as well.

Last year the House passed two bills, including one sponsored by Cantor, designed to offset part of the sequester through a 5% increase in employee contributions to be phased in over five years. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the 5% increase, along with other minor retirement-related provisions, would cost employees $79 billion over 10 years.

“The President proposed reforming the federal pension system to the Joint Committee, it is in his budget and it was in our sequester replacement bill. Instead of raising taxes, this is the type of spending reform we should all be able to find agreement on, in order to avoid the negative effects of the sequester,” Cantor’s spokesman said.

 

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