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

Super Committee Countdown

ARCHIVES
The super committee's deficit reduction plan -- assuming there is one -- should be public by this time next week. It's anyone's guess what the 12-member panel will recommend, but it's a safe bet there will be something in the proposal that affects the federal workforce.

The question is, which proposal, or proposals, exactly? There is no shortage of recommendations floating around: extend the civilian pay freeze, eliminate step increases, shrink the federal workforce through attrition.

Anything is possible, but here's what's probable: an increase in federal employees' pension contribution rates. Republicans and Democrats both endorse the idea, and it would be relatively easy to implement, despite it being wildly unpopular with most of the federal workforce. It's not clear it will be a recommendation, or if it is, how much more employees will have to contribute to their defined benefit plans. The Obama administration has recommended a 1.2 percent increase over three years beginning in 2013; other proposals call for much higher increases.

The joint committee also could weigh in on shrinking the federal workforce through attrition. Reducing government rolls through attrition was a recommendation of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission, created by President Obama and led by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson from Wyoming and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

Earlier this month, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a bill that calls for hiring one federal employee to replace every three workers who retire or leave their job, shrinking the workforce across-the-board by 10 percent by 2015. It's unlikely that bill will reach the floor before the end of the legislative session and lawmakers could be waiting to see if something similar is included in the super committee's deficit reduction plan.

The committee must vote on its $1.5 trillion deficit reduction plan by Nov. 23.

Operation Hero Miles

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., has introduced a bill that would expand the federal program that allows travelers to donate their frequent flier miles to military families to help defray the cost of visiting their injured loved ones. Operation Hero Miles also provides free round-trip airfare to military members recovering at military or VA medical centers as a result of injuries sustained in overseas conflicts. Cardin's legislation broadens the program to include donations in the form of hotel points or awards for free or reduced-rate lodging for deployed members and their families.

FEHBP Information Sessions

If you are looking for more information about the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program this open season, two Washington-area lawmakers are hosting sessions this week. On Thursday, Nov. 17, Maryland Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen -- a member of the super committee -- is holding a forum from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Rockville at the Executive Auditorium Executive Office Building at 101 Monroe Street. On Saturday, Nov. 19, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., will host a similar information session at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The address is 12000 Government Center Parkway. Experts on federal health insurance plans and representatives of insurance carriers will be at both sessions to answer questions.

 

Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

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

    Download

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