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Disengaged Employees, Lackluster Pay and More

December 17, 2014 It looks like 2014 will end with a whimper instead of a bang for federal employees, and that’s good news, considering what the bang might have been. Despite some 11th-hour brinksmanship, lawmakers approved and President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending plan for 2015. That means you can stop worrying ...

Overtime Pay Cuts, Pay Raises, Suicide Prevention and More

December 10, 2014 Many Border Patrol agents will soon receive smaller paychecks under a new law that will require significant changes to overtime pay. The House on Wednesday passed S.1691, the 2014 Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act, sending to President Obama’s desk a bill that aims to bring stability to the workforce ...

There’s Still Time to Sign Up for Flexible Spending Accounts

December 9, 2014 Thanks to “technical issues,” federal employees have been granted more time to sign up for flexible spending accounts in 2015. The FSAFEDS enrollment window has been extended through Wednesday, Dec. 10, according to a notice on the benefit program’s website. By establishing flexible savings accounts, workers can set aside a ...

Obama Gives Feds Extra Day Off at Christmas

December 5, 2014 President Obama issued an executive order Friday formally granting federal employees an extra holiday day off on Dec. 26. “All executive branch departments and agencies of the federal government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, the day after Christmas Day,” the order ...

Tapping Feds for Deficit Reduction, Autism Benefits, Roth TSP Contributions and More

December 3, 2014 The Congressional Budget Office has a few ideas for reducing the deficit. Seventy-nine, actually. In its most recent periodic analysis of policy options and their effect on the federal budget, CBO estimates the savings associated with all manner of things, from tweaking the tax code to cutting grants to state ...

Expanding Death Benefits, Cutting Pensions, Extra Holiday Time and More

November 19, 2014 Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, D-Mass., introduced H.R. 5721, the Overseas Security Personnel Fairness Act, to allow the families of overseas federal contractors killed in the line of duty access to full death benefits if the deceased employee is unmarried with no children or other dependents. Problems experienced by the family ...

Health Care Choices, Retirement Savings Safeguards, Faster Holiday Travel and More

November 12, 2014 Open season officially started this week, giving federal workers an opportunity to rethink their health care and flexible spending account benefits. For some, the choices may seem daunting. But for at least one group of employees, the options are underwhelming. The advocacy group Human Rights Campaign on Monday noted that ...

Hazardous Housing, Thanksgiving Hardship, Health Insurance Changes and More

November 5, 2014 Home may be where your heart is, but if you happen to be one of the 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, your home is also quite possibly a mold-ridden, radon-emitting fire hazard one spark away from total annihilation. That’s not exactly how the Defense Department’s deputy inspector general put ...

Open Season Workshop, TRICARE Blunder, Telework and More

October 29, 2014 Oops. The Air Force mistakenly told about 1,000 airmen who voluntarily left the service recently that they’d get six months of extended TRICARE health benefits. Turns out that’s not the case. The problem occurred when officials failed to correctly update the database of eligible TRICARE enrollees, the Air Force Times ...

Health Care Scam, Scholarships, Flu Shots and More

October 22, 2014 It’s that time of year. Americans lose 17 million workdays to the flu annually; the Office of Personnel Management doesn’t want you to be one of them. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta sent a memo to agency heads earlier this month urging all feds to get a flu shot. Many agencies ...