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2:19 pm, September 21, 2014

Pay and Benefits News

Analyzing the budget deal

On this week's Your Turn radio show, host Mike Causey examines what's in the most recent budget deal that will impact feds.

Wednesday - 12/11/2013, 03:57pm EST
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Under budget deal squeeze, will future feds opt out of TSP?

If the proposed budget deal becomes law, new federal workers will see a total of 10.6 percent of their salaries automatically withheld from their paychecks to cover their retirement benefits. That could lead to them contributing less or not at all to their voluntary Thrift Savings Plan accounts, experts said.

Wednesday - 12/11/2013, 03:26pm EST

How the budget deal will impact current and future feds

Newly hired federal workers will be required to contribute more toward their pensions and some military retirees will see smaller cost-of-living adjustments under a budget deal announced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Tuesday evening. The budget deal, which sets funding levels for the next two years, eases some of the bite of the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration. The pact restores about $63 billion to agency spending through the end of fiscal 2015, split about evenly between Defense and civilian agencies.

Wednesday - 12/11/2013, 04:08am EST

Lawmakers to budget committee: Don't throw feds under the bus

Lawmakers, who face a self-imposed Friday deadline to come up with a fiscal 2014 budget plan, appear to be making progress toward a limited deal that would stave off another shutdown and give agencies the certainty of funding for the remainder of the year.But lawmakers with districts surrounding Washington, D.C. are preemptively speaking out against any proposal that, in their words, would "throw federal employees under the bus." Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), says that too often in the past federal employees' pay and benefits have "been used as pawns in budget negotiations."

Monday - 12/09/2013, 02:15pm EST
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Personalize your retirement day

When deciding to retire there is one day, but lots of different dates, that is best for you, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. How do you figure out the difference?

Monday - 12/09/2013, 02:00am EST

AFGE, NTEU try to stave off changes to retirement benefits

The two employee unions say lawmakers shouldn't make up for sequestration cuts by forcing federal employees to contribute more to their retirement. House and Senate legislators are working on a small-scale budget deal that reportedly includes a provision to alter federal retirement benefits.

Friday - 12/06/2013, 04:07am EST

Coming up: The dullest, most important weekend of the year

Is the upcoming weekend a time for dinner, dancing and romance or are you going to curl up with a batch of health-insurance brochures? The latter might the smarter choice, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Friday - 12/06/2013, 02:00am EST

OFPP's proposed increase in contractor salary cap upsets all

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy issued a memo to agencies setting the new benchmark for reimbursable costs at $952,308, up from $763,029 in 2011 for certain contractor employee salaries. The contractor cap has increased 55 percent over the last four years. OFPP blames Congress for not acting to change the formula for calculating the annual increases.

Thursday - 12/05/2013, 04:27am EST

The problem and solution are the same thing: You!

What do so many Washington-based politicians have in common with a firefighter with an arson problem? Both spend a lot of time solving problems they created, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Thursday - 12/05/2013, 02:00am EST

Weighing your healthcare options

Walton Francis, author of the Checkbook Guide to Federal Health Plans, will answer your calls and emails about open season.
December 4, 2013

Wednesday - 12/04/2013, 07:00pm EST
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VA benefits set to slightly increase in 2014

When veterans and their families, who receive disability compensation and retirement benefits from the Veterans Affairs Department, receive their annual cost-of-living increase next month, for the first time ever, it won't be rounded down to the nearest dollar. Overall, the COLA for veterans benefits will increase 1.5 percent. Until this year, the COLA for veterans' benefits was rounded down to the nearest dollar. That will change with payments beginning in January.

Wednesday - 12/04/2013, 11:41am EST

Are you perfect in every way? If so, skip this...

If you live a perfect lifestyle and your parents and grandparents celebrated their 85th anniversary in the Bridal Suite of your local Motel 6, you can skip today's column, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. Otherwise, listen up.

Wednesday - 12/04/2013, 02:00am EST

New bill aims to cancel sequestration for DoD at cost to feds' pay and benefits

Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) introduced a bill Tuesday to cancel sequestration for the Defense Department for two years. The bill would offset this change by using a chained CPI to calculate COLAs for federal retirement programs along with other entitlement reforms.

Tuesday - 12/03/2013, 04:32pm EST

January pay raise - not for everybody

The 2014 white-collar pay raise is not for everybody. Feds at the top of their grades in some cities won't be getting anything at all, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Tuesday - 12/03/2013, 02:00am EST

Open season with Walton Francis

Insurance expert and author Walton Francis will answer your calls and emails about open season. (This show originally aired Nov. 11)
December 2, 2013

Monday - 12/02/2013, 12:00pm EST
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Most TSP funds hold steady in November, though gains slow

Nearly all the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan ended last month in positive territory, although with smaller gains than in the past few months. The C Fund, which is tracked to the performance of the Standard and Poor's 500, posted the largest gains 3.05 percent, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees the TSP. Of the five regular funds, only the F Fund posted in the red for November

Monday - 12/02/2013, 11:14am EST

Why increasing feds' retirement contributions may not help cut the deficit

Requiring federal employees to contribute more of their salary toward retirement is rumored to be among the proposals being considered by the House-Senate budget conference committee as an partial alternative to the sequestration budget cuts. The proposal, which the Congressional Budget Office has concluded would increase federal revenues by nearly $20 billion over 10 years, has criticism from federal-employee unions. But now, at least one think tank, known for its hawkish stance on reducing the deficit, says the proposal could end up not saving the government a dime.

Monday - 12/02/2013, 06:00am EST

Will budget committee target feds' retirement contributions?

Even as mystery surrounds the work of the House-Senate budget committee negotiating over fiscal 2014 funding levels and possible alternatives to devastating across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, there's consensus emerging about some of the potential bargaining chips the committee is likely to use. That includes requiring federal workers to contribute more of their salaries toward their pensions.

Monday - 12/02/2013, 06:00am EST

Plan B: You need 4 of them when shopping for insurance

In most serious situations, it's good to have a fallback Plan B. When shopping for health insurance you need four of them, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Monday - 12/02/2013, 02:00am EST

FEHBP, Medicare & the retiree blues

If you are like many federal workers -- and most retirees -- you won't do anything during the health-insurance Open Season, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. And that could be a very costly mistake, especially for workers and particularly retirees in the most popular plans: Blue Cross Standard option and Blue Cross Basic. Both are excellent but one costs nearly twice as much as the other.

Friday - 11/29/2013, 02:00am EST
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