AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com 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.
Results 1691-1700 of 1811

Survivor Savings

June 14, 2007 There's little doubt that the Thrift Savings Plan is a highly valued and attractive investment program for federal employees. But should participants pass away, their spouses might not see the full benefits. Currently, a surviving spouse beneficiary must either accept the assets of the TSP account as a lump sum, ...

Panel approves student loan forgiveness for public servants

June 14, 2007 A House panel on Wednesday approved major college aid legislation that would provide student loan forgiveness after 10 years for people who pursue careers in public service. The bill (H.R. 2669), sponsored by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., includes language that would make it easier for college graduates who have high ...

House appropriators approve 3.5 percent civilian pay raise

June 12, 2007 A House panel late Monday backed a bill granting civilian federal employees a 2008 pay raise of 3.5 percent, a figure equal to the adjustment already authorized in the House for the military. The House Appropriations Committee approved the raise in the markup of the fiscal 2008 financial services appropriations ...

Employee groups back automatic TSP enrollment, new default fund

June 12, 2007 A federal Thrift Savings Plan advisory panel decided Tuesday to back proposals for legislation allowing automatic employee enrollment in the plan and changing the default fund for indecisive investors. At a biannual meeting of the Employee Thrift Advisory Council, representatives from labor unions and other federal employee groups expressed support ...

Homeland Security launches graduate academy

June 11, 2007 The Homeland Security Department is expanding graduate education opportunities for its employees by establishing a new academy near Washington, the agency announced last week. The department launched the Homeland Security Academy on June 6 at the Office of Personnel Management's Eastern Management Development Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va. The full-time ...

Firm outlines steps to successful workforce reforms

June 8, 2007 Federal agencies must start treating employees as a critical variable as they tackle staff shortages, seek to increase job satisfaction and forge stronger links between policy and practice, according to an upcoming report from global management and technology consulting firm Accenture. The report, which will be released in July, identifies ...

Survey finds increased satisfaction with federal benefit programs

June 8, 2007 Federal employees are more pleased with their benefits, and view them as more valuable and competitive with the private sector, than they did several years ago, according to new survey results released by the Office of Personnel Management. The 2006 employee benefits survey, released Friday, indicated that employees' satisfaction with ...

Appropriators block funding for DHS personnel reforms

June 6, 2007 A House panel late Tuesday approved language that would block funding for a controversial human resources system at the Homeland Security Department. The House Appropriations Committee voted unanimously to approve a $36.2 billion fiscal 2008 DHS spending bill that would block funding for the department's personnel system - now called ...

Auditors question Pentagon projections for health care savings

June 5, 2007 The Pentagon's proposal to cut health care spending by increasing the share of costs paid by some TRICARE beneficiaries is unlikely to achieve the large savings the agency projects, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office. From 2000 to 2005, the report (GAO-07-647) noted, the Defense Department's ...

Riskier TSP funds bring greatest gains for May

June 4, 2007 Small and common stocks, two of the riskier fund options in the Thrift Savings Plan, led the pack for earnings in May, while only fixed-income bonds lost ground. The S Fund, which invests in the stocks of small- and mid-sized American companies, grew the most, at 4.40 percent last month. ...