Ryan budget would kill FERS supplement, tuition assistance


The House Budget Committee’s report on Rep. Paul Ryan’s fiscal 2014 budget fills in a few more details on how it would affect federal employees. The budget, which the House passed March 21, would get rid of the Federal Employees Retirement System supplemental payment beginning in January 2014. That supplement is paid to FERS employees who retire before age 62, to replace the Social Security payment for which they are not yet eligible.

The bill also would eliminate student loan repayments for federal employees. And its 10 percent federal workforce cut would be achieved by allowing agencies to only hire one new employee for every three who leave.

Ryan’s budget also takes a page from the Simpson-Bowles commission and increases the amount federal employees contribute to their pensions. The House Budget Committee said the retirement benefit cuts could save $132 billion over a decade.

The Ryan budget is sure to run aground in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But some of these proposals could be resurrected later this year, as part of budget negotiations.


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  1. From page 89 of the House Budget Committee report.

    Note the Orwellian substitution of the word “reform” when “eliminate” or “abolish” would have been more honest:

    Reform Civil-Service Pensions. In keeping with a recommendation from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, this option calls for federal employees—including Members of Congress and staff—to make greater contributions toward their own retirement. It would also reform the ability for individuals to receive a ‘‘special retirement supplement,’’ which pays federal employees the
    equivalent of their Social Security benefit at an earlier age. As the Office of Personnel Management states on its website, this benefit is ‘‘unique’’ to the Federal Employee Retirement System. This would achieve significant budgetary savings and also help facilitate a transition to a defined-contribution system for new federal employees that would give them more control over their own retirement security. From a fiscal-responsibility standpoint, this option would replace a system that is creating unfunded future liabilities for taxpayers with a fully funded system: it could save an estimated $132 billion over ten years.

  2. Unless the Ryan plan were to exempt federal workers nearing retirement eligibility, his plan would add the risk of drastically slowing the attrition desired from the federal work force through retirements. This would negate a significant part of the planned savings, which, incidently have no basis in sound analyses–only conjecture.
    This would force federal agencies to implement RIFs to achieve the desired personnel reductions and add to the budget in terms of paying severence to displaced workers. Again, this impacts the projected savings.

    This is a short sighted plan, through and through. Long term gains will prove elusive and it is the long term spending reductions that must occur. If cutting federal compensation and benfits is part of the plan then why not make meaaningful cuts and apply them only to future workers? If indeed the private sector has eliminated defined pensions for their professional workers (engineers, doctors, etc), then there should be no impact on recruiting, right? Riiggghhhhttttt????????????

  3. How can the govt remove a part of our retirement that in my case they have promised for 27 years? This provision would cost me ~$80K in my first 6 years of retirement. I am all for paying my fair share, but this does not qualify.

  4. Why aren’t the folks in the House and Senate looking at what they can contribute? Why are we paying for their children to go to college? Why are we paying their Healthcare forever? We all must pay for these types of expenses out of our pockets and they make alot more than I do. Why can’t they pay for these perks on their own?

  5. I read the House Budget Committee report but am confused. Would the FERS supplemental payment expire for those who retired in 2014 or beginning with the FY 2014 budget which would still be in 2013? Or could this be elimated for new hires as opposed to onboard employees? 5-10 years from now when the economy improves and they have disseminated/denigrated federal service, they (Congress, President, et al) will have to beg people to work for federal service. Good luck. Oh, and when the economy improves and people in private industry once again have better insurance, better stock options, profit sharing and bonuses will they be asked to do their share of helping to help eliminate the public debt as federal employees have done for the past three years???!! I doubt it.

  6. ron richards on

    Rep Ryan is sadly mistaken if he thinks he can unilaterally eliminate a benefit that has been promised to employees for almost 30 years and not suffer the consequences.

  7. The budget, which the House passed March 21, would get rid of the Federal Employees Retirement System supplemental payment beginning in January 2014. That supplement is paid to FERS employees who retire before age 62, to replace the Social Security payment for which they are not yet eligible. Would this eliminate the “Special Catagory Retirement” for Law Enforcement, Firefighters and ATC? They would be unable to work until age 62 since they have a mandatory age retirement of 57……Will this change their retirement?

  8. It sounds to me like federal workers are just now starting to feel what the rest of the country has been going through. Layoffs, furloughs, reductions in benefits. I get it, you guys work hard, do a good job, its unfair, but guess what, you work for the American people, and the American people are suffering, so if we have to cut back, you should not be shocked when we send people to congress to put the reigns on an out of control beauracracy and a bloated governement where the average pay and benefits package far out paces what someone on the outside gets. Work six more years? Your lucky to have a job to work at. I know folks who lost not only thier jobs, but also a nice retirement plan with it that would beg to work six more years to have a decent pension.

    Bottom line, even with the proposed cuts, the workforce is staying, so it tells me that regardless of what is proposed, the pay and benefits for a federal worker are pretty darn good.

  9. FED employee on

    I am one of those people who is planning to retire (5 yrs..be 56yrs/age) and is relying on SRS “to retire”. If the SRS is eliminated, then I will be forced to work until I am 62 because I cant afford to retire. Not really happy about this decision if it goes through, it is what it is, and I’ll do whatever to make it. However, would not it make sense to pay the SRS supplement…which is far less…vice paying my salary for another 6 years. To me, it doesn’t add up…there’s no savings in eliminating the SRS to help the whole budget/deficit situation…or is the politicians just blindsighted to cut anyway they can…not sure

  10. There are SO many ways to save money in the Federal Budget, but the Federal Employee is always the first to be targeted.

    To steal a phrase “Come on man!”

    It is SO SIMPLE – just cut the needless spending that happens on Capital Hill EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR, and Voila’ – Budget problems solved…

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