12:45 am, March 2, 2015

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  • Need more comprehensive accounting
    Zoopy
    Comparing salaries is interesting, conservative think-tanks have rightly pointed out that other benefits (healthcare, retirement, vacation time, etc.) can be quite costly, and should be factored into most discussions comparing government and private-sector compensation packages.
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  • Yeah here are what feds don't like to admit they have
    TEAdude
    Feds get the best pension plan on the planet. Feds get the most comprehensive health care plan Feds get free Metro Bus and Train fares covered by taxpayers Feds with 3+ years get 20 vacation days Feds get 13 sick days Feds get liberal leave without pay Feds get to use taxpayer office supplies and equipment for persoanl use with no oversight Feds get to use the internet for persoanl use, personal emailing and use of taxpayer supplied phones for personal use with no oversight. Feds get extended breaks and extended lunches with no oversight Feds get up to 3 hours on the friday before a weekend or monday holiday Feds get per-diam rates at hotels for personal use. Feds get liberal free education and extensive training throughout the year Feds that had the tax payers cough up the money for expensive security clearances can travel with them to teh few higher paid contractor jobs. Feds in the DoD get three hours on the taxpayer dime for fitness training in fitness centers paid for by taxpayers. Feds with a TSP "G" fund never see any losses, because the taxpayers cover it. Feds get free (taxpayer supplied) temporary gap funding from retiremnt to when they start getting social security. And so on - the list goes on and on. Any company that runs their businesses like this would go bankrupt. But then again, the federal government is running trillion dollar deficits and has accumulated a $14.7 trillion dollar national debt.
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  • Why do you believe that?
    Zoopy
    Health plan: agreed, it's pretty good, but not the best I've had in the private sector ---- Free public transport: agreed, it's a benefit with some cost ($2400/year, iirc) ---- lots of vacation and sick leave: agreed, it's unusually generous ---- free personal use of office supplies / Internet / cell with no oversight: not sure where you're getting that, I've never seen that happen. The Fed govt. has some lax and some sharp managers, just like in private industry ---- tuition assistance: it's mostly no more generous than any other place I've worked, and generally it's on your own time, just like in private industry ---- security clearances: fine, keep them. It's not like we can use them to pay the mortgage. ---- Taxpayer-funded fitness time: generous where it's offered, but I don't believe it's offered in at many sites, so this criticism is only valid for some worksites ---- TSP "G" fund: I don't believe any part of TSP is guaranteed to be risk-free, including the "G" fund. Not sure what you're talking about. ---- Retirement gap funding: Agreed, that's kind of goofy. I think there's a good chance that will get chopped, and rightly so. ------------- But remember, an employer acting stupidly is different from the workers being compensated more than their equivalents in the private sector. They're related, but separable, issues.
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  • Pension plan
    Zoopy
    I forgot to comment on the pension plan. Agreed it's quite good compared to what's currently offered, but at least its cost is easily factored into public-vs-private compensation analyses. That being said, it's attractiveness is a little hard to calculate. The TSP matching is definitely above average, but not by a lot. ---- But as far as the defined benefit plan for FERS employees, I'm certainly not planning on it. Two reasons: (1) It's essentially value-less unless you stay with the government for a LONG time, which is a pair of handcuffs few people like to wear, and (2) I don't trust the government to make good on FERS payouts any more than I trust it to make good on Social Security. It's just too ripe for plunder by politicians.
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  • Also, in case you weren't aware...
    Sranelita
    As a contractor, there is no annual sick leave(or advanced leave), use or lose, there is no LTD, sometimes no STD either, and the health plan prices are outrageous! If your contracting agency employs less than 50 people, there is no FMLA, no maternity leave, no 401K, no thrift savings plan, no tuition aid, no credit union(or any other union). If there is an unexpected closure, a contractor does NOT get paid. There is no retirement as a contractor, nore is there an opportunity for promotions, in-step or grade. Sub-contractors also pay all of their own taxes and must wait to get reimbursed for expenses, including travel.
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  • In case you weren't aware...
    Nette
    FMLA only entitles you to leave without pay, so if you don't have annual or sick leave you aren't getting paid as a federal employee either (If you are sick can you really afford not to get paid?). What maternity leave? That is your own vacation and sick time as well. The government does not give you maternity leave. All they give you is leave without pay. That is your only guarantee and after you have accrued so much of that it starts to negatively impact your leave and retirement so the grass is not as green as you think. Also the medical insurance options depending on where you live are not as plentiful nor are they necessarily the good plans. Yes it is use or lose, but it is leave that you have earned and have to use or lose it rather than being able to save it until you need it. It is like you are punished for being a good employee by having to either find a way to be off or the leave is simply taken back.
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  • From TSP website
    TEAdude
    The G Fund assets are managed internally by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. The G Fund buys a nonmarketable U.S. Treasury security that is guaranteed by the U.S. Government. This means that the G Fund will not lose money. - TSP web site
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  • Is it really that different?
    Zoopy
    But aren't all U.S. bonds guaranteed by the U.S. Government? I.e., the G fund sounds pretty much the same as the U.S. Savings Bonds a grandmother buys for her grandchildren. Or is there something really significant about the "non-marketable" aspect that makes the G fund an unusually sweet deal?
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  • If you are a contractor and you don't have a 401k....
    Tea Bag Hunter
    you need to find a better contracting company to work.....all of the contractors I work with have a generous 401k plan and do very well, cleaning house and getting excellent returns back. They also get tuition assistance. They have comparable amount of sick/vacation leave given to them. If you are a contractor and you don't get these benefits, get off of your lazy bum and stop playing the "feel sorry for me fiddle" and go apply to a big name contractor. You can start with the two biggest names in the DC area that start with the letter "B". I know what they offer because I work with plenty of people who work for both and what they get in benefits is comparable to the gov't.
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  • gov't workforce and vets
    Tea Bag Hunter
    oh another thing, a good chunk of the gov't workforce are veterans....if you have issue with their benefits, enlist and put in a few tours in Afghanistan and then talk about how they don't deserve their benefits.
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  • Beltway Nonsense
    khp3655
    After all the Fed bashing, why is this the first story about about contractors and their high pay and $320B vs Feds and their $220B? It shows that what isn't reported can be more important that what is. Why aren't the usual cast of Fed bashers (Ross, Issa, Kudlow, etc.) complaining about high contractor salaries, limited accountability and annual increases they are getting.
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