With the President’s fiscal 2018 budget expected later this week, lawmakers and federal employee unions are gearing up for what could be a long and contentious fight over civilian agency spending and possible cuts to other federal employee programs. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association says the 2018 budget is its biggest challenge this year.
The CPI-E Act would require federal retirement programs to use the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) when calculating cost-of-living adjustments. Currently the CPI used is the one for workers.
John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company, OPM’s provider for the Federal Long Term Care Program, said “a confluence of factors” led to the sudden and drastic increases in premiums for 2017.
Federal employees and their families will see a 4.4 percent increase in their Federal Employee Health Benefit premiums next year. But FEHBP participants will pay 6.2 percent toward their health care costs. The government share is 3.7 percent.
The Office of Personnel Management says long-term care insurance members will see premiums rise by as much as 126 percent. Participants can start looking at their package options July 18.
Congress and members in the federal community are at a standstill over how to change the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for federal employees and retirees in the Civil Service Retirement System. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady had a bill that would lessen the WEP penalty, but last-minute changes to the legislation derailed its official introduction to Congress.
Two postal reform bills passed the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, although not without opposition or concerns.
The House passed a bill that would change the way agencies discipline and remove federal employees and members of the Senior Executive Service. One provision would put all SES members under the same, expedited disciplinary process that senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department had until the Justice Department challenged its constitutionality.
Senate leaders agreed in principle to a six-year highway transportation fund bill that doesn’t try to raise money by changing the way the interest rate on the G-Fund is calculated. But Democrats stopped the bill from moving to a full vote because they wanted more time to read the entire bill.
The congressional stalemate over funding a long-term highway bill is reviving fears that lawmakers could raid the Thrift Savings Plan. House Republicans have proposed cutting the G Fund’s interest rate to free up $32 billion over ten years.
A 1.3-percent pay raise, reforms to the Senior Executive Service and increased emphasis on employee feedback are just some of the initiatives proposed in President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget.
President Barack Obama is signing a Presidential Memorandum today directing agencies to provide six weeks of advance sick leave for federal employees to care for their newborn child.
Companion bills introduced in the House and Senate would give federal employees a 3.8 percent pay raise next year. Federal employees received 1 percent pay raises in both 2014 and 2015, after three years of pay freezes.
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association delegates elected Richard G. Thissen as their new national president. He succeeds outgoing President Joseph A. Beaudoin.