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6:29 pm, September 21, 2014

Pay and Benefits News

Deadline to schedule 'use it or lose it' annual leave is Nov. 30

Federal employees wanting to schedule "use it or lose it" annual leave only have a few days left before their excess vacation days are forfeited. The deadline to schedule excess annual leave is this Saturday, Nov. 30, Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta reiterated in a Nov. 26 memo to agency chief human capital officers. The leave must be used by Jan. 11, the end of the leave year.

Wednesday - 11/27/2013, 01:43pm EST

Sorry, your retirement date is extended 5 years!

Suppose Congress passed a law requiring you to work an extra five years? You'd be furious, right? Suppose, because you are just plain cheap, you forced yourself to work an extra five years? Guess what? It happens every day, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Wednesday - 11/27/2013, 02:00am EST

Mass-transit subsidy, once again, set to decline

If Congress fails to act by the end of the year, a tax subsidy for commuters who use mass transit is set to drop from a maximum of $245 a month to $130. At the same time, fringe benefits for parking are set to rise to $250 a month starting in January. Two stand-alone measures in the House and Senate would restore parity between the parking and mass-transit subsidies

Tuesday - 11/26/2013, 01:23pm EST

His and her health plans? Not so fast...

Should you and your significant other be in the same federal family health plan? Or should you each enroll in self-only plans? Think about it, because the health insurance hunting season closes Dec. 9, and picking the wrong plan could cost you big-time, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Tuesday - 11/26/2013, 02:00am EST

Open Season with SAMBA and Long Term Care Partners

SAMBA Executive Director Walt Wilson and Deputy Director Pam Cummings, as well as Joan Melanson from Long Term Care Partners, talk about your Open Season options.
November 25, 2013

Monday - 11/25/2013, 05:09pm EST
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Feds who took TSP withdrawals during shutdown locked out of contributing for next six months

During the 16-day government shutdown last month, more than 14,000 Thrift Savings Plan participants withdrew money from their accounts, the highest number of hardship withdrawals in a single month ever. This may have helped participants weather the financial uncertainty of the shutdown. But, under TSP rules, it also means they'll be unable to contribute to their 401(k)-style retirement accounts for the next six months. Now, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees the TSP, is concerned that not all those participants will take the initiative to restart their contributions when the penalty period expires next spring.

Monday - 11/25/2013, 03:26pm EST

Sex ed and buyout information

What do government buyouts have in common with sex education back in the day? The short answer is that you couldn't get much birds-and-bees info then and you can't get much new information on buyouts now, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Monday - 11/25/2013, 02:00am EST

Bill calls for 'socially responsible' TSP fund

A new bill would allow federal employees to contribute toward their retirement by investing only in companies deemed socially responsible. The "Federal Employees Responsible Investment Act," introduced this week by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would require the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to add a "Corporate Responsibility Index" to the existing five investment options available to federal employees.

Friday - 11/22/2013, 05:14pm EST

Bill would ensure blue-collar feds get 1 percent pay raise in January

A new bill introduced this week by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) would ensure blue-collar federal employees receive the same scheduled pay increase in January as General Schedule employees. White-collar GS employees are due to get a 1 percent pay raise in January, under a plan announced in August by President Barack Obama, who has authority to set GS pay levels. However, pay raises for wage-grade or hourly employees require separate legislation. With no action by Congress, pay for these employees would remain flat.

Friday - 11/22/2013, 11:11am EST

Feds shopping online on the job

Millions of federal workers are shopping online while they are at work. But don't get mad or hang your head in shame, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. This is a good thing that could save everybody -- especially the taxpayers -- a lot of money.

Friday - 11/22/2013, 02:00am EST

Where have all the buyouts gone?

Buyouts were a big deal over the last couple of years, but now they seem to have gone away, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. Or gone underground. Are you hearing anything about buyouts?

Thursday - 11/21/2013, 02:00am EST

Best buys during Open Season

Walton Francis, author of the Checkbook Guide to the Health Plan for Federal Employees, and NARFE's David Snell will answer your open season questions.
November 20, 2013 (Encore presentation November 27, 2013)

Wednesday - 11/20/2013, 05:36pm EST
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Survive Open Season and save a thousand bucks!

Do you have 3-1/2 minutes to invest in a project that could save you $1,000 to $2,000 next year? Check out Senior Correspondent Mike Causey's column for more.

Wednesday - 11/20/2013, 02:00am EST

The Newlywed Game -- federal-style

Trying to decide whether to formalize or end a relationship? If so, this is the perfect time to step back and consider your options, because your health and your finances could be at stake, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Tuesday - 11/19/2013, 02:00am EST

Open Season overview continues with Kaiser Permanente

John Patrick and Dr. Amy Banulis from Kaiser Permanente join host Bob Leins to discuss the company's health care plan.
November 18, 2013

Monday - 11/18/2013, 10:22pm EST
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Year-end retirees miss COLA boat

Planning to retire soon to cash in on that 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment? Good plan, except for one problem, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. The good ship USS COLA has sailed!

Monday - 11/18/2013, 02:00am EST

Senate proposal lops off FERS pensions for new hires

A new bill introduced by a trio of Republican senators would end the defined benefit portion of FERS coverage for new federal employees hired within six months of the bill's passage. Sponsors of the bill say the Public-Private Employee Retirement Parity Act would align federal retirement benefits more closely with those earned in the private sector.

Friday - 11/15/2013, 01:45pm EST

CBO: Congress could wring $300B in deficit savings from federal pay, pension changes

A new Congressional Budget Office analysis of proposed deficit-reduction efforts contained half a dozen proposals affecting federal employees, including reducing annual pay raises, requiring federal employees to contribute more toward their pensions and reducing the size of the federal workforce through attrition. All told, such proposals would reduce federal outlays or increase revenues by $308 billion, according to CBO estimates.

Friday - 11/15/2013, 12:30pm EST

The single life: Celebrating Open Season

Being single has its advantages. Especially when you are shopping for a health plan or a new doctor, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. So, just how good is the single life?

Thursday - 11/14/2013, 02:00am EST

Navigating through Open Season

Walton Francis, editor of the Consumers' Checkbook Guide to Federal Health Plans, will answer your calls and emails about open season.
November 13, 2013

Wednesday - 11/13/2013, 07:38pm EST
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