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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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House Passes Bill To Increase Jobs for Vets

January 8, 2015 The House unanimously passed legislation Tuesday that would exempt veterans with government-subsidized health care from being counted in the number of employees for whom employers must provide health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The Hire More Heroes Act (H.R. 22) is aimed at giving small businesses some breathing room ...

OPM Seeks Health Plan Auto-Enrollment for Certain Feds

January 7, 2015 A proposed rule would ensure that certain federal employees don’t experience a gap in health care coverage if they fail to choose a new plan within a specific time frame. The Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday published a draft regulation that would require agencies to automatically enroll employees and ...

Retirement Claims Backlog is Down Now, But It’s About to Spike

January 6, 2015 The Office of Personnel Management reduced its backlog of retirement applications by 2,370 claims in December, the most it has processed in a single month since March 2014. The backlog, which has plagued the agency for decades, is now at 11,669 retirement claims. It’s about to get worse, though: OPM ...

New Health Care Premiums for Certain Retired Reservists Take Effect

January 5, 2015 The Defense Department put the finishing touches on a four-year-old program that provides health care coverage to retired reservists, just before the 2015 premium rates took effect on Jan. 1. Defense published its final rule on TRICARE Retired Reserve on Dec. 31, though the program has been available to eligible ...

TSP Falls in December, With Most Funds in the Red

January 2, 2015 The Thrift Savings Plan had a bleak December, with several funds in the red, according to the latest data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. The C Fund, invested in common stocks, fell 0.24 percent in December, while the international (I) fund tumbled 4.13 percent last month. In addition, ...

OPM Seeks Fiscal 2015 Presidential Rank Award Nominations

December 31, 2014 The Office of Personnel Management is now seeking nominations for the fiscal 2015 Presidential Rank Awards, the prestigious program created in 1978 to honor the federal government’s top career officials. Agencies must submit their nominations by March 2, 2015, said the Dec. 30 memorandum from OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. Winners, ...

Judge Upholds Firing of VA Exec – But Not Because of Wait Time Scandal

December 29, 2014 A federal administrative judge has upheld the Veterans Affairs Department’s decision to fire the career senior executive who ran its Phoenix health care system when the scandal over falsifying wait lists erupted last spring. But the judge based his decision to support Sharon Helman’s termination largely because she improperly accepted ...

Most Troops Will See More Money Next Year

December 23, 2014 The Defense Department on Monday announced 2015 pay and compensation rates for service members. Along with the 1 percent pay increase for most troops – Congress froze pay for general and flag officers next year – service members also will receive boosts in their basic housing allowance and basic subsistence ...

Most Troops Will See More Money Next Year

December 23, 2014 The Defense Department on Monday announced 2015 pay and compensation rates for service members. Along with the 1 percent pay increase for most troops – Congress froze pay for general and flag officers next year – service members also will receive boosts in their basic housing allowance and basic subsistence ...

Obama Signs TSP Bill Into Law

December 19, 2014 It’s official: New federal employees automatically will be enrolled in a more diverse, age-appropriate retirement fund rather than the safer government securities offering. President Obama signed the bipartisan Smart Savings Act into law on Thursday, along with a raft of other bills. The law changes the default enrollment fund in ...