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Kellie Lunney

Senior Correspondent Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.
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Bill would boost TSP contribution rates

May 1, 2012 Some federal employees could see their Thrift Savings Plan contribution levels increase automatically under draft legislation circulating on Capitol Hill. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, has sought input on a bill tying automatic enrollment in the government’s 401(k) style retirement plan to annual increases in the amount of money employees contribute...

Senators plead for grace period on shuttering post offices

May 1, 2012 A bipartisan group of senators is asking the head of the U.S. Postal Service to delay the closures of post offices and mail processing facilities scheduled to begin May 15 until after Congress passes legislation reforming the agency. The Senate last week passed its reform legislation but the House has...

Feds give TSP thumbs up

April 30, 2012 Federal employees’ satisfaction with the Thrift Savings Plan increased in 2011, although officials anticipate the long-awaited rollout next month of the plan’s new Roth 401(k) option will ruffle some feathers. “Even if we do it perfectly, we will leave some people confused and frustrated,” Greg Long, executive director of the...

Fed pension hike advances in House

April 26, 2012 This story has been updated. Federal workers would have to contribute more to their government pensions under a bill the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved Thursday. The legislation requires current federal employees to pay 5 percent more toward their retirement over the next five years, beginning in 2013....

Diplomats get a break on pet travel costs

April 26, 2012 United Airlines will waive some fees for Foreign Service employees shipping their pets overseas, according to a group that represents diplomats. The airline company’s policy change comes after pressure from lawmakers and the American Foreign Service Association to reduce the cost of transporting pets for State Department employees who move...

Defense overtime pay cap waived again

April 24, 2012 Certain Defense Department employees will have their premium pay cap waived through 2012, according to an agency memo. Eligible civilian Defense employees can receive basic and premium pay up to $230,700 for the year. The current premium pay cap, which the government also waived in 2011, is $179,900. Employees working...

Pay and benefits feature prominently in postal reform bill

April 23, 2012 This story has been updated. The Senate will resume debate on postal reform Tuesday, considering several amendments to its bill that would affect workers’ pay and benefits. Measures that would prohibit collective bargaining at the U.S. Postal Service, require retirement-eligible employees to retire, and increase the amount workers contribute to...

Republican seeks to cut lawmakers’ pay

April 20, 2012 A House lawmaker has introduced legislation that would slash the salaries of congressional members and eliminate any future cost-of-living increases. Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder wants to reduce by 5 percent the pay rates of lawmakers by amending the 1946 Legislative Reorganization Act. The bill (H.R. 4399) also would prevent members...

VA will hire more mental health care workers

April 19, 2012 The Veterans Affairs Department is hiring more staff to address the growing mental health care needs of veterans returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the department announced Thursday. VA will add 1,900 employees to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff across the country, including 1,600 clinicians and...

Roth Delays in Perspective

April 19, 2012 Many federal employees will have to wait a little longer to begin investing in the Thrift Savings Plan’s new Roth 401(k) option. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, which administers payroll services to several agencies, including the White House, will not be ready to offer employees the added retirement investment...