Federal News Countdown: Federal employee morale, pension hikes

Friday - 2/17/2012, 5:08pm EST

Federal News Countdown

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Today's guests on the Federal News Countdown:

- Diane Cochran; principal for human capital service; Kelly, Anderson and Associates Professional Services Council
- Julia Ziegler; web manager; Federal News Radio

Diane Cochran's stories
#3 SBA redefinition of small business draws mixed reactions
From GovExec:

As the Small Business Administration redefines exactly how big a small business can be, it faces mixed reactions from lawmakers and small business groups.SBA published its new guidelines in the Federal Register on Feb. 10, with the rules scheduled to go into effect March 12. The comprehensive review in size standards, the first SBA has undertaken since the early 1980s, determined that larger businesses in 34 industries and three sub-industries in the professional, scientific and technical services sector could be considered small businesses.

#2 OPM plan: Older employees could work part-time, earn part-time annuity
From Federal Times:

The Office of Personnel Management wants to allow older federal employees to ease into their retirements on a part-time basis. Under this plan - which was proposed as part of the White House's fiscal 2013 budget released Monday - employees nearing retirement would be able to continue working part-time, while receiving a partial annuity. They would also continue earning additional retirement benefits proportionally based on their part-time service.

#1 Pension changes could be part of payroll deal
From GovExec:

Federal employees could end up paying more for their retirement benefits as part of a tentative deal to extend the payroll tax holiday, according to sources familiar with the negotiations and news reports.


Julia Ziegler's stories
#3 Federal morale deeply impacted by pay freeze, 'fed bashing'
From Federal News Radio:

The morale of federal managers and employees has been damaged significantly by the two-year pay freeze and perceived fed bashing by the public and members of Congress, according to the results of a Federal News Radio survey.

#2 2013 budget: Staffing levels remain mostly flat
From Federal News Radio:

The size of the federal government - and particularly the federal workforce - has been an issue of political discussion for the past couple years. But amid everything else in the official 2013 budget request unveiled Monday, the overall size of the federal government, in terms of staffing levels, would remain relatively constant.

#1 New feds' pension contributions increase under payroll tax cut deal
From Federal News Radio:

The House and Senate approved Friday a compromise bill extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, among other provisions. To offset the cost of part of the bill, newly hired federal employees would be required to contribute more toward their pensions. After weeks of tense negotiations, lawmakers on a House-Senate conference committee moved relatively quickly toward compromise.