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

One Reason to Save Your Vacation Time


Capitol Hill has been buzzing with debate over proposals that affect federal employees. Amid all the discussions, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee managed to squeeze in a few potential changes to Thrift Savings Plan policies.

The panel last week amended a retirement bill to allow federal and postal employees to deposit unused annual leave into their Thrift Savings Plan accounts upon retirement.

“This option has already been available to private sector employees with 401(k) plans since 2009,” said Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., sponsor of the provision. “This amendment would give federal employees the chance to work on rebuilding their TSP accounts to make up for losses they suffered during the financial crisis.”

The committee unanimously approved the overall bill, which allows federal employees to ease into retirement by working part time.

Retirement Funds as Leverage

The oversight committee also passed a measure that would allow the Internal Revenue Service to enforce federal tax levies on civil servants. The provision was included in the version of the surface transportation measure the Senate passed in March, and was the subject of some confusion.

The IRS claimed it could levy funds in Thrift Savings Plan accounts, but the board overseeing the retirement plan believed it was illegal to use funds credited to TSP beneficiaries for anything that did not help them. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board sought clarification on the law.

“There has been a conflict between the IRS and TSP over this issue for many years,” said Kim Weaver, the board’s external affairs director. But a 2010 Justice Department opinion found that TSP accounts are subject to federal tax levies, and the board now has reached an understanding with lawmakers.

“We are appreciative that the committee acted to provide this clarification,” Weaver said.

(B)(1) Bargaining Update

In February, we reported agencies were testing (b)(1) bargaining issues -- personnel matters not currently required to be up for negotiation with public sector unions.

A report on the pilot program, which the Office of Personnel Management’s Labor and Management Relations Council commissioned, is slated to land on President Obama’s desk in May. Nine federal agencies conducted 12 pilot projects on the feasibility of bargaining over (b) (1) issues, which include numbers, types and grades of employees; and methods, means and technology used for doing an organization’s work. This type of bargaining was practiced under the Clinton administration but suspended under President George W. Bush.

According to a recent Federal Times report, the pilots have been mostly a bust so far.

Many of the bargaining pilots were incomplete by the deadline, or managers failed to collect hard data showing the bargaining style’s benefits to the government. OPM will recommend the administration continue the testing for two more years in its May report to Obama, Federal Times said.

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.