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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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Employee groups assail proposal to increase pension contributions

February 6, 2012 Legislation that would increase the amount government workers contribute to their pensions drew renewed fire Monday from federal employee advocates. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans to mark up a bill Tuesday afternoon that would increase feds’ contributions to their pensions by a total of 1.5 percent over...

Bill would prohibit step increases for feds through 2012

February 3, 2012 A House lawmaker has introduced a bill that would prohibit step increases for federal employees who currently are subject to a pay freeze. The provision, tucked into larger legislation aimed at improving transparency within the appropriations process, would prevent federal workers from receiving within-grade step increases through the end of...

Senate Republicans call for two-year pay freeze extension

February 2, 2012 Senate Republicans on Thursday introduced a bill that would freeze federal pay for another two years and reduce the size of the government by 5 percent through attrition. The legislation is designed to stave off cuts to the Defense Department budget if sequestration takes effect in 2013, and is the...

OPM hopes to solve retirement claims backlog with more staff

February 1, 2012 The government’s human resources chief acknowledged Wednesday his agency does not yet have an information technology plan to successfully tackle the major backlog of federal retirement claims. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry told Senate lawmakers that OPM is working hard to get to a place where federal employees’...

Going on a Cash Diet

February 1, 2012 Anyone who has ever gone on a diet knows you need a plan to succeed. Simply saying you’re going to lose 20 pounds is a recipe for failure. Success depends on putting in place concrete steps, changing hard-wired habits and developing better ones—easier said than done. The same principles apply...

Federal workers' comp program remains vulnerable to fraud

January 26, 2012 The federal workers’ compensation program remains vulnerable to fraud, mostly due to a limited access to data, according to the Government Accountability Office. GAO studied a handful of federal agencies, including the Labor Department, and their oversight of the 1916 Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, which provides benefits to about 251,000...

411 on 401(k)

January 26, 2012 The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board will unveil more information next week about a much-anticipated addition to the government's retirement program. The board will publish details about implementing the upcoming Roth 401(k) option to the Thrift Savings Plan, which allows employees to invest income that already has been taxed. The...

House Democrats: Don’t cut federal pay and benefits

January 25, 2012 More than a dozen House lawmakers are calling on their colleagues to avoid cutting federal pay and benefits to finance an extension of the payroll tax cut. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., along with 16 other House Democrats, sent a letter Wednesday to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., urging the payroll tax...

Conferees meet to discuss payroll tax cut extension

January 24, 2012 J. Scott Applewhite/AP Federal pay and benefits did not get much air time Tuesday during the first public meeting of House and Senate conferees tasked with financing the payroll tax holiday for the remainder of 2012. The nearly two-hour meeting consisted of pledges from lawmakers to work together to figure...

Printing office announces 2011 buyout figures

January 24, 2012 More than 200 employees at the Government Printing Office accepted buyouts and early retirement packages during the second half of 2011, the agency announced Tuesday. The buyout program targeted 15 percent of the agency's workforce, or 330 employees, although GPO missed that goal slightly. A total of 247 employees took...