Pay and Benefits Watch: Legislative update

ksaldarini@govexec.com

Since the last update, several measures have advanced in both the House and Senate. A bill that would let the federal government use its purchasing power to negotiate discounts on long-term care insurance for federal employees won approval by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and legislation designed to enhance the ability of federal employees to save for their retirement by bolstering the Thrift Savings Plan cleared the same committee.

Here's a look at pending bills that affect federal pay and benefits.

Bill No. Purpose Most recent action
H.R. 28 Require all child care facilities for federal employees' children to be accredited and adhere to a set of safety, health and facility standards. Approved by House Government Reform Committee.
H.R. 55 Allow any uninsured individual age 55 to 65 to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 82 Take the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, federal employees' pension fund, off-budget. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 94 Repeal the statute that gives Members of Congress an automatic annual cost-of-living increase. Referred to House Administration.
H.R. 95 Prevent members of Congress from participating in the Federal Employees' Retirement System. Referred to House Administration.
H.R. 110 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. See H.R. 4040.
H.R. 113 Allow more Medicare-eligible military beneficiaries to participate in a demonstration project permitting them to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service, Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
H.R. 205 Allow all Medicare-eligible military beneficiaries to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service, Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
H.R. 207 Treat federal physicans' comparability allowances as basic pay for retirement purposes. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 208 Allow new federal employees to roll over money from private-sector 401(k) accounts into Thrift Savings Plan accounts and allow them to immediately begin participating in the TSP. Passed by the House.

Passed by Senate panel.

H.R. 246 Require the government to list Social Security and Medicare deductions on federal employees' pay checks. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 279 Require drug tests for new federal employees. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 416 Correct retirement errors for federal employees. Passed by the House.

Referred to Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security.

H.R. 424 Change the mandatory retirement age for members of the Capitol Police from 57 to 60. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 460 Make the mandatory separation age for federal firefighters the same as the age that applies to federal law enforcement officers. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 483 Lift the annual limit on Thrift Savings Plan contributions to an IRS limit-$10,000 this year. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 582 Improve overtime pay for federal managers. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 583 A bill to provide Assistant United States Attorneys with the same retirement benefits as law enforcement officers. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 602 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. See H.R. 4040.
H.R. 742 Eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 807 Make Federal Reserve employees' pensions portable to other federal agencies. Signed by President as part of S. 335.
H.R. 809 Improve the pay and benefits of Federal Protective Service police. Approved by House Transportation Committee, preparation for House floor begun.
H.R. 826 Give National Weather Service employees more overtime pay, but limit Sunday premium pay to work performed on Sundays. Referred to House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 860 Lessen the impact of the Windfall Elimination Provision. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 877 Treat the basic pay of members of Congress in the same manner as the basic pay of the most adversely affected federal employees. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 933 Ensure that coverage of bone mass measurements (for osteoporosis) is provided under the health benefits program for Federal employees Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 993 Allow agencies to spend 50 percent of their year-end surpluses on employee bonuses. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1000 FAA reauthorization: restores employees' MSPB appeals right. Signed by President Clinton, became public law no: 106-181.
H.R. 1079 A bill to provide for equitable retirement for military reserve technicians who are covered under the Federal Employment Retirement System or the Civil Service Retirement System. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1111 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. See H.R. 4040.
H.R. 1170 Make available under the health benefits program for federal employees the option of obtaining coverage for self and children only. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1210 Provide for continued compensation for federal employees during shutdowns. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1216 Improve pay for Veterans Affairs nurses and other employees. Referred to the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health.
H.R. 1217 Lessen the impact of the Government Pension Offset on federal retirees. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 1228 Extend law enforcement retirement benefits to IRS collectors, customs inspectors and others. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1263 Require the government to list Social Security and Medicare deductions on federal employees' pay checks. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1513 Allow Federal employees to take advantage of the transportation fringe benefit provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that are available to private sector employees. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1606 To make certain temporary federal service creditable for retirement purposes. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1748 To increase the mandatory retirement age for law enforcement officers from 57 to 60. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1769 A bill to eliminate certain inequities in the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees' Retirement System with respect to the computation of benefits for law enforcement officers, firefighters, air traffic controllers, nuclear materials couriers, and their survivors. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1770 Raise the cap on federal overtime pay. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1827 A bill authorizing up to $150,000 bonuses for federal employees who make "extraordinary contributions" to reducing waste and inefficiency. Passed by House, but bonus provision eliminated.
H.R. 1833 Customs authorization: Reduces Customs officers' overtime pay Passed by the House, Senate.
H.R. 2096 Let federal employees add dependent parents to their health insurance. Referred to the House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 2321 To ensure that coverage under the health benefits program for Federal employees is provided for hearing aids and examinations. Referred to the House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 3147 Raise the pay cap for members of the Senior Executive Service and other high-level employees. Referred to the House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 3185 Establishing a new method for fixing rates of basic pay for administrative appeals judges. Referred to the House Government Reform Committee.
H.R. 3573 To restore health care coverage to retired members of the uniformed services. Referred to the House Government Reform, Armed Services Committees.
H.R. 3603 To expand Federal employee commuting options. Referred to the House Transportation Committee.
H.R. 3655 To improve the military health care system. Referred to several House Committees.
H.R. 3829 To amend the Federal Employees Compensation Act (workers comp). Referred to House Workforce Protection Subcommittee.
H.R. 3841 To make permanent the Federal physicians comparability allowance authority. Referred to House Government Reform Committee.
H.R. 3842 To change policies governing postmasters' pay and benefits. Referred to House Government Reform Committee.
H.R. 4030 To enhance benefits for active and retired military personnel. Referred to several House committees.
H.R. 4040 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. Passed House.

Referred to Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services.

H.R. 4173 Allow military personnel to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan. Referred to House Government Reform Committee.
H.R. 4174 To exclude military recruitment and retention bonuses from taxable income. Referred to House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 4193 To protect surviving spouses of federal law enforcement officers from lawsuits. Referred to House Judiciary Committee.
H.R. 4205 Fiscal 2001 Defense Authorization bill. Includes provision offering private employers up to $10,000 to retrain displaced Defense Department employees. Placed on Senate legislative calendar.
H.R. 4221 To provide right of first refusal to workers whose jobs are being awarded to a contractor. Referred to House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.
H.R. 4232 To provide federal workers with free computers and Internet access. Referred to House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 4277 To make health insurance premiums non-taxable for federal retirees. Referred to several House committees.
H.R. 4353 To provide better pay for federal contract workers. Referred to several House committees.
H.R. 4363 Allow military personnel to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan. Referred to House Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Service
H.R. 4382 To give the Air Force special buyout authority and authority to offer employees hiring and retention incentives. Referred to House Government Reform Committee.
H.R. 4569 To clarify the method for computing certain annuities under the Civil Service Retirement System which are based (in whole or in part) on part-time service. Referred to House Government Reform Committee.
S. 57 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs International Security Subcommittee.
S. 102 Disclose the amount of federal retirement benefits due members of Congress. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs International Security Subcommittee.
S. 300 Sec. 504 of the bill would allow Medical Savings Accounts in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
S. 450 Authorize special pay for board-certified veterinarians in the Armed Forces and Public Health Service. Referred to Senate Armed Services Committee.
S. 650 Amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to provide for coverage under that act of employees of the federal government. Introduced March 17, 1999.
S. 717 Lessen the impact of the Government Pension Offset on federal retirees. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
S. 718 Extend law enforcement retirement benefits to IRS collectors, customs inspectors and others. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 772 Protect pensions of federal employees who go part-time toward the end of their careers. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security.
S. 851 Allow Federal employees to take advantage of the transportation fringe benefit provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that are available to private sector employees. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security.
S. 865 Make danger pay for federal employees tax-free. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
S. 894 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security.
S. 912 Improve the pay of Border Patrol agents. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
S. 1232 A bill to correct retirement coverage errors for federal employees. Passed by Senate. Basic language approved as an amendment to S. 2420.
S. 1441 Eliminate a temporary increase in retirement payroll reductions. Referred to Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 1885 Increase overtime pay for federal managers. Referred to Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 2003 To enhance health care coverage to retired members of the uniformed services. Referred to Veterans Affairs Committee.
S. 2013 To restore health care equity for medicare-eligible uniformed services retirees. Referred to the Armed Services Committee.
S. 2075 To expand Federal employee commuting options. Referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.
S. 2087 To improve access to benefits under the Tricare program; to extend and improve certain demonstration programs under the Defense Health Program. Referred to the Committee on Armed Services.
S. 2160 To required FEHBP plans to include infertility benefits. Referred to the Senate Health/Ed. Committee.
S. 2218 To establish a long-term care health plan for federal employees. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 2227 To allow Federal agencies to reimburse their employees for certain adoption expenses. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 2420 To establish a long-term care health plan for federal employees. Approved by Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 2481 Fiscal 2001 Defense authorization bill. Referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
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