If you work for Uncle Sam and you feel like your bills have outgrown your income, you are probably correct. But the good news, if you can call it that, is that you are not alone.
Except for corporate fat cats, sports and movie stars and TV types — one of whom pulls down $300,000 per one-hour show — lots of people are falling behind in the pay parade even though inflation has been very low the past few years.
White collar federal workers were subjected to a 3-year pay raise freeze. Some (up to one-third) continued to get 3 percent within grade (longevity step) pay increases. A relatively few others, in some agencies, moved up the pay ladder via promotion. But for many if not most feds, salary stagnation was the order of the day.
This year, feds got a 1 percent raise in January and are likely to get another 1 percent increase starting in 2015. Meantime, retirees, whose increases are based on living costs, not politics or budgetary considerations, are looking at a January cost-of-living adjustment of around 1.8 percent.
Workers in the private sector aren’t doing much better than feds, and in many cases, in certain industries, they are doing worse. At the start of the great recession, many companies furloughed or fired employees. Others eliminated pension plans, told employees to rely on their own 401k plan contributions and reduced (more likely eliminated) company contributions to individuals’ 401k plans.
Koskinen: We’re from the IRS and we’re here to help IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is known as a fixer in government circles. Time and again, he has taken the helm of a topsy-turvy organization and stabilized it. Judging by his first nine months at the IRS, the agency could be his biggest challenge yet.
TSP funds rebound in August All Thrift Savings Plan domestic funds recorded gains over the past month, while the I Fund, invested in international stock, fell 0.14 percent, according to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
Online Chat: Phased Retirement Join Federal News Radio experts Wednesday, Sept. 10, from 11-11:30 a.m., for an online chat about phased retirement, a new option which allows eligible employees to work part time while drawing on part of their earned retirement benefits. Phased retirees must also spend at least 20 percent of their time mentoring other employees.