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8:20 pm, October 21, 2014

Pay and Benefits News

Mass-transit benefit declines thanks to congressional inaction

Are you a federal employee who uses public transportation to get to work? Be prepared to shell out more for your commute. Because of congressional inaction, a tax subsidy for mass-transit commuters is set to drop nearly in half from a maximum of $245 a month to $130.

Wednesday - 01/01/2014, 02:00am EST

Planning tips for the federal employees

Federal benefits expert Bob Braunsten will answer your retirement and benefit planning questions.
December 30, 2013

Monday - 12/30/2013, 10:40pm EST
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Will OPM allow flexible-spending rollovers?

Under federal "use it or lose it" rules, any unspent money employees set aside last year to pay for out-of-pocket health costs, such as prescriptions or co-pays, is forfeited at the end of the year. But a group of senators from states surrounding the Washington, D.C., area, wants to change that. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) along with Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) wrote to Katherine Archuleta, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, requesting the agency implement new regulations that would allow federal employees to roll over as much as $500 in unused funds from year to year.

Monday - 12/30/2013, 01:06pm EST

Service members more financially stable than civilian counterparts

Members of the military are burdened by credit card debt, loans and mortgages, but they still seem to be handling their finances better than their civilian counterparts, according to a report by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Foundation.

Monday - 12/30/2013, 09:17am EST
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Fight over military pension cuts to continue

Cuts to military pensions in doubt, but future changes to troop pay, benefits likely

Thursday - 12/26/2013, 12:14am EST

Taking care of Mom and Dad

Gerontology professor Dr. Michael Creedon discusses his "Ten Commandments for Givers", and offers advice on how to care for elderly parents.
December 23, 2013

Monday - 12/23/2013, 09:34pm EST
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A 2-year (or 2-week) breather for feds?

Senior Correspondent Mike Causey wants to know: Does the new House-Senate budget agreement buy federal workers and retirees two years of safety, or will the peace treaty unravel two weeks into the upcoming new year?

Friday - 12/20/2013, 02:00am EST

Why some feds are skeptical of new self-plus-one FEHBP option

Thanks to the bipartisan budget deal passed by Congress and on its way to the President's desk, though, federal employees will soon have a new health-insurance coverage option: "self plus one." Federal employees have long clamored for the couples-only option, but the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the FEHBP, has always demurred, citing concerns it would disrupt the risk-sharing inherent in large group plans. Now, with the self-plus-one option enshrined in law, at least one federal-employee union finds OPM's recent change of heart "problematic."

Thursday - 12/19/2013, 10:37am EST
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Self plus one and more

AFGE's public policy director Jacqueline Simon explains why her organization is opposed to the self plus one plan, and Sean Reilly and Andy Medici from the Federal Times will discuss what's ahead for feds and retirees in 2014.
December 18, 2013 (Encore presentations December 25, 2013 and January 1, 2014)

Wednesday - 12/18/2013, 06:16pm EST
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Couples-only health plan? Good idea or bad idea?

What do you think about a couples-only federal health plan? Would that be fair to the group plan and its group rates? The addition of a self-plus-one health plan could have consequences not only for that couple's premiums but also yours, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Wednesday - 12/18/2013, 05:48am EST

Pay gap between federal employees, private-sector workers continues to grow

The gap in pay between federal employees and private-sector workers widened slightly this year, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the Federal Salary Council. On average, federal employees earn 35.37 percent less than their private-sector counterpart, according to data from the Office of Personnel Management and the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tuesday - 12/17/2013, 02:38pm EST

Planning tips for the federal employees

Federal benefits expert Bob Braunsten will answer your retirement and benefit planning questions.
December 16, 2013

Monday - 12/16/2013, 10:40pm EST
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TSP seeks to supplant G Fund in automatic enrollments

Federal employees could soon be seeing a lot less of the G Fund in their Thrift Savings plan accounts. Instead of being automatically enrolled solely in government securities, new plan participants would be shifted to an age-appropriate Lifecycle, or L, Fund as their default investing option under a proposal approved by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Monday. The proposal ultimately requires action by Congress.

Monday - 12/16/2013, 03:35pm EST

Budget deal: Feds dodge a bullet...

Congress went after federal workers and retirees with a meat ax. But instead the new budget agreement is more of a kick in the shins for feds who have yet to be hired, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

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

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
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