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Search Tags: FECA
The White House's fiscal 2015 budget proposal released Tuesday aims to boost funding for federal-employee training, which has been hard hit by across-the-board sequestration cuts in recent years. The budget also proposes a 1 percent pay increase for federal employees and leaves untouched federal retirement programs.
Members of the House have doubts about the Labor Department's proposal to set a uniform benefit rate for FECA beneficiaries. A GAO study found that such propositions will decrease benefits to injured workers with dependents. FECA benefits would also align more closely with Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) benefits once injured workers reach retirement age.
Tags: workforce , pay and benefits , workers compensation , retirement , DOL , GAO , George Miller , Gary Steinberg , Andrew Sherrill , Scott Szymendera , Melissa Dawkins , House Education and the Workforce Committee
Disabled federal workers with dependents would be among the hardest hit by proposed changes to federal workers' compensation benefits, according to an analysis by the Government Accountability Office. The Labor Department has proposed setting a uniform level of compensation — 70 percent of the pre-injury salary — regardless of dependents and further reducing benefits to 50 percent when employees reach retirement age. But in its report which simulated those proposed changes, GAO raised concerns about the effects on beneficiaries.
Greg Kutz is director of Forensic Audits and Investigations at the Government Accountability Office.
The federal workers' compensation program has long targeted by agency inspectors general, who have cited the program's lack of oversight and susceptibility to improper payments Some members of Congress also argue the program's benefit structure, which hasn't been meaningfully updated since the mid-1970s, has led to widespread inefficiencies.
In a marathon series of votes Tuesday, the Senate considered more than a dozen amendments to a postal reform bill, approving a provision to limit all federal agencies' spending on conferences, but voting down an amendment expanding the federal workers' compensation program. Lawmakers also rejected an amendment that would have required retirement-eligible USPS employees to retire without a buyout payment. The Senate will resume voting on amendments Wednesday at 2 p.m. before voting on a final version of the 21st Century Postal Service Act.
The National Treasury Employees Union has denounced a Senate bill reforming the Postal Service because it would also reduce benefits under the federal workers' compensation program.
The House has approved bipartisan legislation reforming the Federal Employees Compensation Act. The bill streamlines the claims process and expands benefits.
If enacted, H.R. 2465 would make several changes to the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, including allowing assistants and nurses to certify disabilities.
This week on FEDtalk, host Debra Roth is joined by Jon Adler, President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, to hear about their annual meeting and current legislative efforts on the Hill.