This month, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) sent a formal legislative proposal to Speaker Paul Ryan (WI) requesting that a number of changes to the federal retirement program be acted upon by Congress. Specifically, the OPM transmittal provides Congress with the language needed to implement the administration’s standing retirement proposals contained in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget request to Congress.
As a reminder, these retirement changes would:
Increase required employee contributions to FERS by 6 to 7 percent;
Eliminate the FERS supplement;
Change the High Three to a High Five formula for CSRS and FERS; and
Reduce the retiree COLA for CSRS annuitants and eliminate the COLA for FERS annuitants.
NTEU alerted Capitol Hill to the damage such proposals would make to this country’s civil service, not only upon morale, but upon recruitment and retention of the government workforce, as well as the harmful impact to federal employees and retirees, and their families. The OPM language was shared as the House of Representatives was poised to begin work on passage of the annual defense policy bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, which at times carries government-wide personnel provisions.
NTEU successfully quashed OPM’s immediate desired action, with the help of many Representatives on both sides of the aisle who view these proposals as unfair, not needed, and punitive. Representative Michael Turner (R-OH) wrote a letter to Dr. Jeff Pon, the Director of OPM. In part, the letter states that “In order to “recruit, retain and honor a world-class workforce to serve the American people” as OPM seeks, the federal government must maintain a competitive benefits package befitting such a workforce.”