Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Feds As Little Red Riding Hood
Tuesday - 7/12/2011, 4:00am EDT
The "threat" that seems to have the attention of many feds involves changing the formula used to compute retirement benefits. Under the concept, future benefits would be based on the employee's highest 5-year average salary. Now Uncle Sam uses the high-3. Although it hasn't been introduced, many feds have asked if the change will be immediate, retroactive, or would they have time to retire before it takes effect?
That high-5 plan surfaces every year as part of laundry list of ways-to-save-money that goes to Congress. And it goes away, undone.
This year Congress seems more serious/tougher/meaner (pick one) in its approach to government costs. The White House kicked things off by ordering a 2-year federal pay freeze and key House Republicans have pushed for an extended freeze and other big-ticket changes. But so far nobody has proposed/introduced the high-5 plan. It could happen, but for now it is not on the table. However there are two lesser known, but far more serious, proposals under active consideration:
- 1) A bipartisan administration/congress plan that - if approved - could double your health premium payments within a few years. That would happen as feds and retirees assumed a larger share of the premium cost each year. And,
- 2) An even more dramatic concept that would permanently reduce the size of the future cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for federal retirees, military retirees and (can you hear the politicial time bomb ticking?) the one in six Americans who gets Social Security. We gave you an early-warning alert in June.
Federal, military, Social Security retirees get a cost of living adjustment each January based on the rise in living costs as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. Most retirees got a COLA of 5.8 percent in 2009. But there was no COLA last year or this year because the formula used by the government indicated that prices (thanks to periods of deflation) had actually dropped. With four months left to go in the COLA countdown CSRS retirees are in line for a raise in the neighborhood of 3.5 percent. For details on that, click here.
But if Congress and the White House agree to use a different, less generous, formula to compute the COLA increase it could reduce each annual raise by as much as .5 percentage point (according to some experts) each year.
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees is urging its members to use a hot line to tell Congress to leave the COLA formula alone.
The Federal-Postal coalition (of groups representing union members, managers, etc.) told the President the budget can't be balanced on the backs of feds. They are especially fearful of a White House plan to increase FERS pension contributions by employees.
A lobbyist for one of the groups said nobody knows exactly which of the horrible options - if any - will make it. " But fear is in the air," he said.
To reach me, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
According to Ranker.com, "If the population of China walked past you in a single file line, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction."
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Obama willing to 'take heat' to reach budget deal
President Barack Obama declared on Monday there would be no deal on raising the government's debt limit if Republicans won't compromise.
A practical guide for Roth conversions
Federal employee transition planning experts provide a step-by-step guide on the best ways to get the most money into a Roth individual retirement account.
Survey: Next generation of government
Young feds in government bring new ideas and energy - as well as new working styles. Federal News Radio wants to know what it's like for veteran feds to work with Gen X, Y and the Millenials, and vice-versa.