January 17, 2013
A new petition asks the Obama administration not to suspend payments into the Thrift Savings Plan’s G Fund and to stop linking federal employees to the nation’s fiscal troubles in general.
The creator of the petition, Skip S., said federal employees were being “singled out for disparate treatment” by the Treasury Department’s decision to temporarily halt payments to the pension fund – a move officials have said will not affect TSP enrollees.
“We are calling on the administration to halt the practice of singling out the federal workforce to finance the federal government's funding deficit solely because the benefits of federal employees are easily accessible to the U.S. Treasury as a source of cash and because federal employees are an easy target for criticism,” the petition on the White House’s We the People site said, noting that federal pay has been frozen for two years.
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders the department had suspended payments to the G Fund as part of its “extraordinary measures” to avoid default, but would restore the money once the debt ceiling was raised. The move, which is not at all unprecedented, buys the administration time, delaying the debt ceiling fight with Congress.
TSP Executive Director Greg Long said last week that the “make-whole” provision of the 1987 TSP Investment Act would ensure that all investments are fully protected and guaranteed by the federal government.
Federal human resources news site FedSmith noted the petition had a long way to go before it made an impact on Treasury’s investment decisions.
It was created on Wednesday and had more than 120 signatures as of Thursday afternoon. However, with the White House now requiring 100,000 signatures before an administration response is given, the petitioners have their work cut out for them. They can take solace knowing that the last petition demanding action on federal workforce issues gave them a holiday on Christmas-eve.
(Image via larry1235 / Shutterstock.com)
January 17, 2013