Treasury Suspends Investments Into TSP's G Fund, and More
A weekly roundup of pay and benefits news.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen informed Congress this week that her department would cease its investment in three federal retirement programs as part of its extraordinary measures intended to delay running into the debt ceiling.
At the end of July, the federal government hit its borrowing limit and Yellen sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informing her that she would suspend investments in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, and the Thrift Savings Plan’s G Fund, which is made up of government securities, to avoid breaching the debt ceiling.
With these actions, officials believe the Treasury Department can continue funding government operations until Sept. 30, when Congress will need to act to raise the debt limit, in addition to passing appropriations bills to set spending for the 2022 fiscal year. In her letter, Yellen stressed that this temporary measure will not have a direct impact on federal employees and retirees or their benefits.
“By law, the G Fund, [CSRDF and the PSRHBF] will be made whole once the debt limit is increased or suspended,” Yellen wrote. “Federal retirees and employees will be unaffected by these actions. I respectfully urge Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting as soon as possible.”
Vaccine Incentive Extended
The federal government’s second largest health insurer announced last week that it would extend the deadline for federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and still be eligible for a financial incentive program.
The Government Employees Health Association announced in June that any federal employee who received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 31 and provides proof of full vaccination by the end of 2021 would receive a $75 credit on qualified medical expenses.
Last week, GEHA announced that it would extend the deadline to get a first dose of a vaccine until Sept. 6. And it highlighted that those employees would also be eligible for whatever vaccine incentives are offered by their state or local governments, referring to President Biden’s call on governments last month to give $100 to residents who get vaccinated.
“GEHA is committed to the health and safety of the U.S. federal workforce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rich Bierman, interim president and CEO of GEHA. “Extending the Vaccination Incentive Program is paramount to our commitment to our members and their families. Federal workers are the backbone of our nation's infrastructure, and our vaccination incentive program is designed to support them and their families during this critical time.”
The deadline to provide proof of full vaccination remains Dec. 31, GEHA said.
NEXT STORY: TSP Funds Show Modest Gains in July