News Briefs

November 1, 1996

News Briefs

The following news summaries are from OPM AM, the daily newsletter of the Office of Personnel Management. OPM AM is available on OPM Mainstreet, the agency's electronic bulletin board, at 202-606-4800.

THE FEDERAL DIARY--"Although many federal workers don't know it, their government jobs allow them to provide their spouses with a lifetime benefit--indexed to inflation--if they die on or off the job while still on the payroll. Unlike a one-time insurance payment, survivor benefits come every month for life. They rise with the cost of living, so they cannot be eroded by inflation, like most pension benefits. John Elliott, a benefits expert with the Agriculture Department, says the benefits combined with life insurance can protect a federal family from financial catastrophe" (The Washington Post).

DOW JONES AFFILIATE UNWRAPS ON-LINE PRODUCTS FOR FEDS--"In an effort to bring Wall Street to Washington, D.C., a New York-based financial publishing, database and software consulting firm is targeting the federal market with on-line products and services designed to make the average federal employee a smarter investor. IDD Enterprises, under the majority ownership of Dow Jones & Co. Inc., is marketing Pension Agent, an on-line service that provides information on stocks and investment plans. The product will give federal employees options for moving money around,' said Jim McCain, a vice president with IDD Digital Alliances....The Office of Personnel Management, according to an agency spokeswoman, is considering placing in an employee resource center access to its software package to allow employees to project retirement benefits based on different scenarios" (Federal Computer Week, September 16).

FED JOB HUNTING AIDED BY OPM WEB SITE--"Finding the right federal job has been made a lot easier, according to U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Jim King. The agency unveiled its Employment Information Homepage, USA JOBS'... This is one more step in making the job search as quick and easy as the touch of a hand,' King said. USA JOBS provides Internet users with access to job-vacancy listings, general employment information, vacancy announcements and forms needed to apply for jobs' " (Pentagram, September 20, 1996).

OTHER NEWS--"The Federal Salary Council has recommended an average locality-based comparability payment of 14.3 percent for General Schedule federal employees in January 1998, to narrow the pay gap between federal employees and their private sector counterparts"...."A new U.S. Department of Labor Internet web site providing federal employees across the country with on-line job search and career transition assistance was unveiled Oct. 21 by DOL Secretary Robert B. Reich and Office of Personnel Management Director James B. King. Located at, the web site provides information on the rights and benefits of federal employees affected by downsizing, according to the memorandum of understanding Reich and King signed at DOL headquarters" (Government Employee Relations Report, October 28, 1996).

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