8:44 am, July 11, 2014

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  • No choices by the letter
    deployed decoy
    Mike, I made it simple. Pick A, B, C, D, or E. I picked B, partly because the second hand on the office clock was 14 seconds past he top of the minute. This really should have been one of those non-scientific type polls however. Do you have any idea how hard it was to divide the minute by 5ths to use the analog clock method to pick the answer I have no idea what is correct. Know that I plan to retire at the end of 2012. But under the right conditions would hang around six more years until I turn 62… I dont see that happening, but based my answer on the assumption I would be around six more years. A. An extension of the current two-year pay freeze by another year, or two or even three more years. B. Basing future retirement benefits on your highest five-year average salary. C. Adopting a revised formula that would reduce (by an estimated 0.4 percent each year) future cost-of-living adjustments for retirees. D. Eliminate the cash supplement for FERS employees who voluntarily retire before age 62. E. Set up a voucher system to purchase health insurance, or phase in a program that would require feds and retirees to pay a much larger share of their health premiums.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Moderate's fuzzy math
    contrarian
    Moderate's assuming a CSRS person who lives past 90, certainly not the average retiree, and certainly not the FERS situation. FERS supplement cut would be $1,200 x6x12=86,400. FERS high five cut would be $117x12x25(avg life expectancy past retirement)=$35,100. CSRS high five cut would be $187 x 12 x25=$55,100. So while the CSRS cut could be bad, IT'S DONE OVER 25 YEARS! While the FERS Supplement cut comes at the first 6 years of retirment! You talk about COLAs but ignore the time value of money. I'm not trying to divide and conquer, but I believe in shared sacrifice and not just balancing the budget on the backs of FERS employees.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Contrarian's fuzzy math
    Moderate
    First, we depend on the defined benefit plan much more than you do. That is our retirement. You have the three legged plan, two of which are not affected by high 5. Thus, CSRS people sacrifice much more than FERS people with your suggestion.-----Second, the figure is much more than $55100 because you are ignoring our COLA's which will also be affected by high 5. Your loss of SSsupplement will last for 5-6 years and then it is done.-----Third, CSRS people can retire at 55 with 30 years, 60 with 20 years, and 62 with 5 years. 55+25=80. 60+25=85. 62+25=87. All of these ages are reasonable and are below or well below 90. And you call my math fuzzy? Yours has a few screws loose.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Moderate blinded by the light
    contrarian
    You don't get it. Pain up front is WORSE than spread over 25-30 years! You get better COLAs already, please don't get greedy!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Contrarian is not thinking
    Moderate
    Is pain much worse up front than your pain in the rear? I doubt it because the pain in the rear keeps on kicking whild yours eventually stops. You could avoid the SSS issue by working until age 62. CSRS people could not avoid your proposal.-----The fact is that you want the CSRS people to take almost double the hit you would get by the high 5 pension. Perhaps a fairer way would be the high 5 item plus cutting the matching TSP government contribution from 5% to 3%.-----Please note FERS people that I am not advocating this action. I am only responding to Contrarian's efforts to stick it to the CSRS people. Hopefully, he will stop his divide and conquer tactics and resist all efforts to tamper with both retirement programs for existing fed workers.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Preference is none of the above
    cliff01
    Let me put it this way: Federal workers and retirees are told they must submit to "shared sacrifice". If Mitt Romney and the other mega-millionaires in this Country are given the same order -- and their taxes are raised to the same excruciating pain level as Congress is proposing for us -- then, maybe, sure, why not? But if Congress wants us to bear the pain with a smile, and wants millions of working poor to bear the pain with a smile -- while the 1% continues on its unprecedentedly greedy way -- then Congress can take up permanent residence in that dark, warm and brimstoney place. And that goes double for Mr. Hope and Change in the Whitehouse.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Congress isn't your children
    rich^kolker
    And we have no mandate to pick one of their choices. They should have a mandate to choose one of ours, and if they do not, that is a larger problem with the system. How about these to start: - Reform the tax system to reestablish progressivity across the entire federal tax burden including payroll and income taxes. - Cut military spending to pre 9/11 levels (and maybe a bit more) - Establish mandatory public funding of all federal elections so that voters, not campaign contributors, once again become the most important people to elected officials...yes this will probably take a constitutional amendment with the current Supreme Court. That's a start.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Rich & Cliff
    deployed decoy
    Really great comments. I feel I need to add the military is really spoiled. I ran the numbers for the highest paid military on the planet. A E6 (SSG) with 8 years of service, assume they are married to a non military member, earns as much as a mid grade GS12. That assumes the tax free housing and food allowances. it does not assume tax funded day care, commassary (cheapest food on the planet) or health care for FREE. I gave up the military in the 80s becasue of the crap. Now days they all but find your spouse a high paid federal job to boot. then those spouses cry they cant make more babies when daddy has a training holiday 4 day weekend every month. So commanders allow federal time card fraud every other pay period so mommy can take the training holiday off. My god had I known how welfare the military would turned out I would never have gotten out as the SSG and doubled my income as a GS7 in 1984... Yes a VERY small percentage of them do get shot at. But it is a very small percentage trumped by far by the contractors that clean their bathrooms making even more in the war zones.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Eliminate SS Supplement
    Cathy
    If a fed wants to retire before age 62, that's fine. But the taxpayer shouldn't have to pay for it by supplementing his pension.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • I assume you're not a FERS employee
    contrarian
    I've been told I have a FERS supplement as part of my "three legged stool" retirement plan for 25 years. You think it's fair just to take it away? See the math above. If I worked private sector I would have stock options or bonuses, why not just take those all away?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To Contrarian
    Moderate
    I support your position that your FICA supplement should not be taken away. I am also a CSRS employee. So, you should stop going after CSRS benefits. See your previous comments and your fuzzy math above.----To Cathy, The reason why I do not agree with you is because the FERS employees were hired with the promise of the social security supplement. It is wrong to take that away mid stream. If they wanted to do that with newly hired employees, then so be it.------I am also 62 with almost 40 years of experience, so I gain nothing with the social security supplement.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • The SS Supplement isn't a gift -- it's an integral part of the FERS bargain
    cliff01
    Cathy, you need to learn what FERS is, where it comes from, and why a Supplement was included in the package before making over-simplified, knee-jerk statements like that. One of the reasons Federal employees are so darned vulnerable to the adolescent machinations of Congress is because people -- yes people like you -- view benefits as some kind of charity. They're not. An entitlement is an entitlement. You have an entitlement to SSA benefits if you worked and paid the FICA tax. Feds under FERS are entitled to a Supplement if they retire before 62 because they have paid FICA tax AND contributed to FERS. When FERS was created, the Congress knew that, in order to be fair, a Supplement was necessary. The Supplement is an attempt to allow FERS to mirror (albeit parsimoniously) CSRS and allow FERS employees to retire before 60 or 62. I say "attempt" because a) it's only a portion of the estimated SSA benefit and b) it's subject to the SSA earnings ceiling: meaning that anyone who retires before 62 and works in the private sector for a reasonable salary is almost certainly going to have that Supplement offset 100%. That's right, reduced to $0.00.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • take the survey
    deployed decoy
    Think I found it on FNR, might have been EXEC.gov. In any case one story linked me to the military survey on going. The military is being asked if they get a onetime 15% or 20% bump in pay, would they accept paying $400 a month for health care. Amoung other real stupid questions. Let me think,,, would I take a $12000 bump in pay to see my health care go DOWN. Not sure I could say yes with a straight face.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • forgot
    deployed decoy
    another question in this survey. would the military accept the same 20% plus up to retire at the ripe old age of 50, or 25% to delay until near death at 55 years old. Talk about the 1/10 of 1% getting over.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Don't Listen To Them, Cathy!
    X-taxman
    You raise a very good point. I agree the FERS supplement was designed out of fairness to employees retiring before age 62, to make the new system more consistent with CSRS. BUT....that was 27 years ago, when retiring before age 62 was much more of an option for ALL Americans. Outside of the government, this is hardly an option any more. So I agree with you. WHY should all American taxpayers foot the bill for the privilige of a select few? Get over it, you FERS people. Count your lucky stars for what you've GOT, instead of griping about what you don't have, or might not have in the future.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To X tax man
    Moderate
    Would you be writing this if you were under FERS and depending on the social security supplement?
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To Mod
    X-taxman
    Good grief, Mod, what a question! We all write these things based on our own situations and perceptions, including you.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To Xtaxman
    Moderate
    Actually, you are not totally correct. I support contrarian's etc. position that the SSS suplement should not be taken away from current employees. And I resent contrarian's position about high 5 because that hurts CSRS people more than FERS people. Since I am CSRS I gain nothing by the SSS supplement. Additionally, I supported the credit of sick leave to FER's people's longentivity when that was an issue. I was not affected by that either. However, I will agree with you that when my benefits, such as high 3, are attacked, I will respond. I should point out that if high 5 legislation is passed, and if it affects me, I will resign before it goes into effect. I can leave at any time.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • This is simple
    MAZ
    The Federal Government should never recruit from a college again. High Schools would cost less to recruit from (there is always one local to every job) and be more productive, because HS grads would stay in Gov for a career. They would give up stock options, accept less pay in good times (people in private industry make jokes at us then), better and more secure pay in bad times (people hate us for this and forget the decades when we were jokes), healthcare that is part of the deal and much lower income oppertunities as you progress up the ladder (you can become an executive of thousands of employees with global influence and risks and not make $200K). Don't get me wrong, some college grads would take jobs, only to get security clearences so they can get out of the Gov and become contractors who are contracted for at 2 to 3 times their Govt employee cost (at or over $250K per year in DC). This is why Congress has such low ratings, they make knee jerk responses (if they take any actions at all), to long term issues. A Gov employee is an investment, you give them some good things to make the low income in the bad times better and also for the lost oppertunities to gain capital gains in good times. They work at harder problems when things are bad in the nation, they go to war with the military, developing countries when statesmen are being killed and they implement the programs that can bring the US back from the disasters and failures of the private industry. It's a shame Congress only solutions is to bring everyone down when things are bad, I hope the US can become a better more secure country in an enviornment where our Congress is trying to make everyone equally as hurt and poor. It's nice to know they are looking out after the folks who make over a million a year in income, by allowing them to keep over 80% of their income after taxes. I guess Congress feels the poor needs the rich to understand just how poor they are. If Congress feels the Federal employee is not needed to help resolve current problems, then freeze our pay for 3 more years and use the high 5 and not high 3. Also reduce the work week to 32 hours (4 days) and make us pay more out of pocket for healthcare. You will pay less, get less and you will be able to recuit more lazy people who will work less days and hours. Sounds like a great outcome, smaller Gov and less happing to get in the way of the great saviors in private industry. I would also eliminate the right of the Federal Gov to sue a private business, Gov lawyers cost a lot and that would also be a huge savings, besides lawyers can't work just 32 hours, I think they get hives.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }