Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government
- Consolidating Mission-critical Systems
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Eliminating the Pitfalls: Steps to Virtualization in Government
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- Government Cloud Brokerage: Who, What, When, Where, Why?
- Government Mobility
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- Mobile Device Management
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- Understanding the Intersection of Customer Service and Security in the Cloud
Shows & Panels
Federal Retiree - Social Security Benefits Flatline
Friday - 4/16/2010, 4:00am EDT
The retirees got a 5.8 percent COLA two years ago thanks to inflation fueled (no pun intended) by then skyrocketing oil prices. But with the recession also came minimal inflation, and for some months, the cost of living actually dropped.
For the first time since automatic COLAs were introduced, retirees whose benefits are indexed to inflation did not get any increase in January, 2010.
Congress and the White House tossed a bone to some (but not all) retirees by either giving them a $250 stimulus check or a $250 tax credit for the 2009 tax year. For information on that, click here.
Earlier this week the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that living costs for the month of March rose only 0.1 percent. That means that retirees are still in the hole on the countdown toward the next (2011) COLA.
The inflation-adjustments are based on the rise in the Consumer Price Index from the current third quarter (July, August, September) over the previous year's third quarter. But when there is little or no inflation (or downright deflation when living costs actually drop) there is no increase. Right now that figure, which usually goes up to track inflation, is down 0.9 percent.
The goods news is that when living costs drop, retirees do not have their benefits cut. They may not get a raise, but they do not take a cut.
Many retirees say that their own personal cost of living has gone up. That may well be true, but the COLA countdown is based on the Consumer Price Index and it says overall living costs are down. So unless there is massive inflation over the next several months, the odds of getting any COLA increase next year are slim and none.
For the official explanation, click here.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has approved a bill that would encourage/force federal agencies to let more employees work from home. The bill, H.R. 1722, is sponsored by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and John Sarbanes (D-Md.). Both have lots of federal workers in their districts. Wolf represents one of the most traffic-choked areas in the U.S., and he's been pushing teleworking using both the legislative carrot and stick on agencies for years.
Confessions of a Millionaire Fed
Coming Monday, the story of how a hard-working fed has banked $1 million toward retirement.
To reach me: email@example.com
Nearly Useless Factoid
by Suzanne Kubota
According to the Book of Odds website, the odds a person has Tourette syndrome are 1 in 1,493 (US, 2008).
MORE PAY & BENEFITS NEWS
ALSO ON FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Rep. Thompson: Federal Protective Service must do better
Everybody don't panic. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wants to reassure federal workers and visitors to federal buildings, "there's no alarm bells or anything like that." But... federal building security could use some work. For more, click here.
Got an iPhone?
Get the Federal News Radio iPhone app! Listen live, read Mike Causey, and listen to interviews from all of your favorite shows on demand. Stay on top of the latest news affecting the federal government and contracting community all from the palm of your hand. And the best part - it's free! Go to the app store and search for Federal News Radio. For more, click here.