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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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Student Loan Perk Doesn’t Benefit Most Federal Employees

April 8, 2014 The federal student loan repayment benefit is on the Republican chopping block again, at a time when the latest government data show that agencies are investing less in the benefit. The GOP fiscal 2015 budget proposal supports eliminating the incentive agencies have used since 2002 to recruit and retain skilled ...

Retirement Backlog Fell in March, But It’s Still Higher Than It Was 3 Months Ago

April 7, 2014 The retirement claims backlog was down 21 percent in March from February, but the government still has nearly 6,000 more applications to process now than it did in December 2013. As of the end of March, the Office of Personnel Management had a backlog of 18,573 retirement claims, after receiving ...

House Panel Approves Plan to Increase Feds’ Pension Contributions

April 3, 2014 A House panel on Wednesday approved a fiscal 2015 budget resolution that would require federal employees to contribute more to their pensions and shrink the government workforce. The Budget Committee marked up the concurrent resolution, which Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled on Tuesday, reporting it out in a 22-16 vote ...

Military Families Worry About Possible Commissary Closures

April 3, 2014 Salary, health insurance and retirement benefits most often spring to mind when federal employees think of compensation. But for military personnel and their families, another perk is just as important: the heavily-subsidized commissaries on base where they buy food and other goods. The Pentagon is proposing a 71 percent reduction ...

TSP Wilts in March

April 1, 2014 March returns for the Thrift Savings Plan were lackluster, with modest gains for some funds and others in the red. The C Fund, invested in common stocks, inched up 0.85 percent last month after a 4.58 percent rebound in February. The fund has grown 21.93 percent during the last 12 ...

Republican Budget Asks Federal Employees to Contribute More to Pensions

April 1, 2014 House Republicans again are calling for a smaller government workforce and less generous benefits for federal employees, as part of a plan to help reduce the overall budget deficit. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled his fiscal 2015 budget blueprint Tuesday morning, which proposes increasing the amount feds contribute to their ...

Congressional Pensions Are Still More Generous Than Federal Employees’ Benefits

March 31, 2014 It still pays better to retire as a member of Congress than as a federal employee, according to government data. Retired lawmakers enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System on average received $26,560 more in pension benefits as of Oct. 1, 2012, than FERS enrollees who retired from federal agencies. ...

The Government Is Actually Not Growing When It Comes to Earnings

March 28, 2014 The federal civilian government was the only industry that experienced a drop in earnings in 2013 – a $6.7 billion decrease, to be precise -- according to new statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Unpaid employee furloughs related to sequestration, which began in March 2013, are partially to blame ...

Bill Would Give Feds a 3.3 Percent Pay Raise in 2015

March 26, 2014 This story has been updated. Federal employees would receive a 3.3 percent pay raise in 2015 under a House bill unveiled by a Washington-area lawmaker. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., would apply the increase to both General Schedule employees and wage-grade workers. President Obama has proposed a ...

OPM Seeks IT Security Pros

March 19, 2014 The Office of Personnel Management does not plan to lay off employees as part of a new effort to modernize and restructure its information technology systems, according to top officials. In fact, the agency is looking to hire “a handful of IT security professionals” who would be federal workers and ...