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Erich Wagner

Erich Wagner is a staff correspondent covering pay, benefits and other federal workforce issues. He joined Government Executive in the spring of 2017 after extensive experience writing about state and local issues in Maryland and Virginia, most recently as editor-in-chief of the Alexandria Times. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
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Federal Unions Support Request for Supreme Court Review of Denied MSPB Case Appeals

November 22, 2017 Officials with the National Treasury Employees Union announced Tuesday that they have filed friend-of-the-court briefs on behalf of three federal employees asking the Supreme Court to review their appeals of Merit Systems Protection Board cases. In each of the three cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit...

No Timeline Yet for Loosening of TSP Withdrawal Rules Under New Law

November 22, 2017 President Trump signed a bill last week that would loosen the withdrawal rules for enrollees in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program, but feds will have to wait a little while longer before they see greater flexibility. The TSP Modernization Act (H.R. 3031) will make it easier for federal...

Senate Panel Drops TSP Catch-Up Contribution Restrictions, A Blow to Pay Parity, and More

November 21, 2017 Less than a week after floating the idea that older employees should no longer be able to make extra contributions to their retirement accounts before taxes, that proposal appears to be off the table, for now. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, had filed an amendment to the chamber’s...

Senate Appropriations Bill Leaves Pay Raise to Trump

November 20, 2017 The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday released a $20.8 billion financial services and general government appropriations bill, which will leave a 2018 pay raise for civilian federal employees up to President Trump. Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., included boilerplate language in the bill that would allow the White...

Senate Sends Defense Authorization Bill, Military Pay Raise to Trump’s Desk

November 16, 2017 The Senate approved a nearly $700 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 2018 by voice vote Thursday, paving the way for members of the military to receive an across-the-board 2.4 percent pay raise next year. The fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was approved in the House by a 356-70...

Appointee Watch: The 300-Day Mark

November 15, 2017 Wednesday marked President Trump’s 300th day in office, but his administration remains in flux, with many key jobs still unfilled and a revolving door of nominees stumbling before they can be confirmed by the Senate. On Monday, Trump announced the nomination of former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to run the...

Tuition Discounts for Feds, a Tax Reform Update, and More

November 15, 2017 The Office of Personnel Management announced Wednesday that it has reached agreements with four new colleges and universities to provide discounted tuition for federal employees. Acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan announced in a memo to agencies that her office has secured academic agreements with the Catholic University of America’s Metropolitan...

The Senate Tax Proposal Could End Feds’ Catch-Up TSP Contributions

November 14, 2017 Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is expected to introduce an amendment to the Republican-led tax reform initiative Tuesday that would restrict federal employees from making extra contributions to their Thrift Savings Plan accounts from pretax earnings. Hatch reportedly plans to introduce a series of amendments to the Senate...

Federal Judge Reinstates Ousted AFGE Official

November 13, 2017 A federal judge last week ordered the nation’s largest federal employee union to reinstate a top executive after the judge found that the ousted official’s lawsuit had a “likelihood” of success if sent to a jury. Last August, the American Federation of Government Employees removed National Secretary-Treasurer Eugene Hudson from...

OPM Withdraws Proposed Rule on Health Care Premiums for Some Feds

November 13, 2017 On the eve of open enrollment for 2018, the Office of Personnel Management announced that it is withdrawing a proposed rule that would have required some federal employees to keep paying their health insurance premiums when they are on unpaid leave. The period during which federal employees can elect to...