Pay & Benefits Watch Pay & Benefits WatchPay & Benefits Watch
Key developments in the world of federal employee benefits: health, pay, and much more.

Holiday goodies

Last week Pay and Benefits Watch reviewed the good things Congress did for federal employees in 2000. Since that column was published, Congress delivered even more holiday goodies to federal employees in last-minute spending bills.

TSP Limits Lifted

Perhaps the biggest and best surprise was legislation that raises the maximum annual employee contribution to Thrift Savings Plan accounts by 1 percent of salary per year for the next five years. The bill was included in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill approved last week.

After the five-year gradual increase, the limits on the amount of money federal employees can contribute to their TSP funds will be eliminated. By 2006, federal employees' contributions to the TSP will be limited only to the maximum deferral amount set by the IRS. That amount is currently $10,500. Agency contributions to FERS employees' TSP accounts will not be affected by the change.

For more information see's Dec. 19 story, "Congress lifts limits on TSP contributions."

Saundra Harman of S. Harman & Associates Inc., a firm that provides training and seminars to human resources professionals and federal employees, the tax deferral that comes with TSP contributions will be a big advantage to members of the Senior Executive Service and employees in the upper levels of the General Schedule. Still, "there's a whole group out there that can't afford to put more in than they are now," Harman said. In either case, federal employees should take advantage of the higher TSP contribution limit to the greatest extent possible, said Harman.

Child Care Subsidies

A bill that will help lower-income federal employees meet child care expenses was also included in the massive 2001 omnibus appropriations package passed last Friday. Funding for a child care subsidy for lower-income government employees was reauthorized for another year. The law permits agencies to use appropriated funds to help lower-income employees cover the costs of child care in licensed child care centers. For more information, see OPM's Guide for Implementing Child Care Legislation.

SES Pay Hike

The massive spending bill also boosted the pay of members of Congress' by 2.7 percent to $145,100 next year. Since pay for members of the Senior Executive Service is tied to the pay scale for members of Congress, lower-ranked SESers will get a pay boost in 2001. However, a cap on executive pay has left SESers at the top three pay levels with the same pay rates. President Clinton is expected to issue an executive order outlining base and locality pay raises for SESers and finalizing pay rates for the General Schedule later this week.

Stay Tuned

Next week Pay and Benefits Watch will look at what's left for Congress to accomplish in 2001.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.