Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger Reporter Portrait for Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.
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TSP prepares for increased activity due to stock market plunge

January 22, 2008 Officials overseeing the Thrift Savings Plan said Tuesday that they are prepared to handle an influx of calls and other activity resulting from market volatility. At a monthly meeting of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, officials said they have increased call center support for participants worried about their plan...

Homeland Security drops proposed labor relations plans

January 17, 2008 The Homeland Security Department is dropping its plans to revise the proposed labor relations rules of its new personnel system, at least for now. Thursday marked a deadline for DHS to file a status report with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia detailing its plans to either...

Reviewing Roth

January 17, 2008 The addition of a Roth option to the federal employee Thrift Savings Plan may be an attractive investment alternative to many participants, but it still may be a long ways off. Unlike traditional 401(k) plans, Roth plans tax investments initially, but not when participants withdraw their retirement dollars years later,...

Defense to begin recruiting foreign language corps

January 15, 2008 The Defense Department is assembling a corps of people fluent in critical foreign languages to serve the nation during times of emergency or international need. By 2010, the department will recruit at least 1,000 people to serve in the new National Language Service Corps, said Gail McGinn, deputy undersecretary of...

Labor Department to fly solo on veterans' employment complaints

January 11, 2008 The Labor Department once again has sole jurisdiction to investigate military service members' complaints about their federal employment, even though a study examining the processing of such claims was considered inconclusive. A pilot project created by Congress in 2004 sought to determine which of two federal agencies -- Labor's Veterans...

Panelists debate public service academy proposal

January 9, 2008 A panel of public policy experts on Wednesday debated whether establishing a bricks-and-mortar undergraduate academy would be the solution to the federal government's looming workforce challenges. At a forum sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, panelists expressed support for or suggested alternatives to creating a U.S....

Union files Supreme Court appeal of NSPS lawsuit

January 7, 2008 A federal labor union on Monday filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the Defense Department's new personnel system. The American Federation of Government Employees filed a petition with the high court, asking it to hear a case on the legality of the National Security Personnel System's labor relations...

Pentagon follows Congress' lead on NSPS raises

January 4, 2008 Employees under the Defense Department's new personnel system will still receive a pay raise equivalent to the formula Congress approved in an authorization bill, despite a presidential veto last week. Pentagon officials said in a Web post Thursday that the 110,000 employees to convert to the National Security Personnel System...

TSP funds earn modest gains in 2007

January 4, 2008 The three riskier funds in the Thrift Savings Plan posted losses for December, though all five basic funds made modest gains for all of 2007. The government securities (G) fund, which is the most reliable, posted the greatest gains last month out of the five basic investment options, rising 0.41...

New Defense personnel system frees managers

January 3, 2008 In the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress gave the Defense Department authority to design an implement a system governing how more the Defense civilian employees are hired, paid, promoted, and disciplined. With a focus on flexibility, the National Security Personnel System enables the department to link pay raises more...

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