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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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Agencies Can Now Honor Fallen Feds with American Flags

September 9, 2014 The U.S. government now can begin giving American flags to the loved ones of federal civilian employees killed in the line of duty to honor their sacrifice. The Office of Personnel Management issued final regulations on Tuesday implementing a 2011 law that allows federal agencies to provide flags to the ...

The VA Is Struggling To Fill 'Tens of Thousands' of Jobs

September 8, 2014 The head of Veterans Affairs on Monday acknowledged that he’s worried about the department’s ability to recruit and retain a talented workforce as it recovers from a major scandal and reinvents itself to better serve the country’s vets. VA Secretary Bob McDonald said the department needs “tens of thousands” of ...

VA Chief Shares Recruitment Concerns, Reform Plan, and His Cell Phone Number

September 8, 2014 The head of Veterans Affairs on Monday acknowledged that he’s worried about the department’s ability to recruit and retain a talented workforce as it recovers from a major scandal and reinvents itself to better serve the country’s vets. VA Secretary Bob McDonald said the department needs “tens of thousands” of ...

Feds Can Now Roll Over Unused Flexible Spending Account Funds

September 5, 2014 Federal employees now can carry over up to $500 of their unused flexible spending account funds into the next year, according to new rules from the Office of Personnel Management. Health care and limited expense flexible spending accounts no longer will have a 2.5 month grace period, said OPM, allowing ...

A Primer on Federal Pay and Benefits in Case the Government Shuts Down Again

September 4, 2014 The government probably won’t shut down this fall. But if it does, we thought a refresher on how shutdowns affect federal employees’ pay and benefits would be useful. When Congress returns to Washington next week, its top priority will be to pass legislation keeping the government open past Sept. 30, ...

Parking Perk Will Continue to Dwarf Transit Benefit Unless Congress Acts

September 3, 2014 The mass transit tax benefit used by thousands of federal employees will remain at 2014 levels in 2015 if Congress doesn’t pass legislation in the next few months to increase the subsidy. The benefit for mass transit dropped from $245 in 2013 to $130 on Jan. 1, 2014 after a ...

How Obama’s Federal Pay Plan Dashed a Bigger Raise

September 3, 2014 President Obama made it official just before the start of the Labor Day holiday: He plans to give civilian federal employees and service members a 1 percent pay boost in 2015, barring congressional intervention, of course. But what would the actual raise be if the president and Congress stayed silent? ...

TSP Gains in August

September 2, 2014 The Thrift Savings Plan continued its momentum in August, with all but one of its funds in the black. International stocks dropped 0.14 percent in August, after gaining 5.29 percent in July. The I Fund has increased 16.80 percent in the last 12 months. The C and S funds had ...

Can You Apply for Phased Retirement This Fall? It Depends on Your Agency

August 29, 2014 Many federal employees interested in phased retirement are going to have to wait to apply until 2015 at the earliest, according to reports from feds in multiple agencies. The Office of Personnel Management issued final rules on partial retirement in August, more than two years after Congress passed the law, ...

Temp Feds Are One Step Closer to Health Insurance

August 28, 2014 A federal employee union is urging the government to provide temporary and seasonal workers access to health insurance as soon as possible. The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents many temporary Internal Revenue Service workers employed during tax season, commented on the current draft regulations detailing the expansion of the ...