Federal pensions next on budget chopping block?

Monday - 5/16/2011, 7:42pm EDT

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

The amount of money you must pay to your retirement fund could be going up. The 2012 budget proposal from House Republicans would require you to contribute 6 percent of your salaries. That's a jump of more than 5 percent.

"That amounts to a 5 percent pay cut," said Tom Shoop, editor-in-chief of Government Executive.

Shoop added, "This is potentially a serious hit to people's pocketbooks."

The President's bipartisan commission also recommended targeting federal employees' pension.

"It used to be very much part of the contract with employees, in essence in the federal sector - you get job security and you get good benefits," Shoop said. "Now the message seems to be, we're going to come after the job security and we're going to come after the benefits."

Some federal employees feel like they have already made sacrifices through a two-year pay freeze, Shoop said.

Some retirement funds at the state and local levels are having solvency problems. That's not the case in the federal sector, Shoop said.

"These retirement funds are well-established and in no fiscal difficulty," Shoop said. "This is purely a save-money proposal, and I think that rubs people the wrong way."

RELATED LINK

Six Percent Pay Cut is Halfway Home

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