Browsing: Pay & Benefits

Letter to the editor: No end to unfair pay, retirement for federal firefighters


Hello everyone. What follows below is a letter to the editor discussing federal firefighter pay and retirement. Under the current system, federal firefighters work 53 hours a week to earn the same as other federal workers in the grade scale system. In addition, firefighters work an additional 38 hours of overtime a pay period, which does not count toward retirement and with only a fraction more pay. The letter below spells out the reader’s concerns in full, and feel free to add your thoughts, opinions or comments below. Dear Federal Times, I am a retired federal firefighter, and have been…

Some TSP funds doing way, way better than others


Hello everyone! I just wanted to share with you the TSP returns for June, with their year to date and their 12 month views as well. As you can see, things are in the black again, but some funds are growing much faster than others. G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund Month 0.19% 0.14% 2.07% 4.45% 0.99% YTD 1.17% 4.37% 7.18% 6.21% 5.06% 12 Month 2.30% 5.00% 24.71% 26.95% 23.97% L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050 Month 0.58% 1.19% 1.52% 1.77% 1.96% YTD 2.46% 4.14% 4.91% 5.43% 5.89% 12 Month 6.74% 13.99%…

Postal Service again restrained on top executives' pay in '12


The U.S. Postal Service continued to keep a comparatively tight lid in 2012 on senior executive salaries, according to its recently released annual report to Congress. By law, the Postal Service has to list all employees whose pay exceeded that of a Cabinet secretary. For calendar 2012, that threshold was $199,700; a dozen USPS executives and officers made more than that, down from 13 in 2011 and 38 in 2010, according to the official rundown. Here’s the 2012 list (found on p. 66 of the annual report): Paul Vogel, president, digital solutions, $312,175* ** Pat Donahoe, postmaster general and chief…

Is the administration moving to include transgender care in federal health insurance coverage?


The short answer? Maybe. Dive into the longer but far more satisfying answer below… While some company and local government health plans cover care for transgender policy-holders, the Federal government does not and specifically excludes transition-related care from coverage. Transition-related care may include hormone replacement therapy, mental health services, and sexual reassignment surgery (SRS).  The costs of this care can easily reach into the tens of thousands of dollars, putting it beyond the reach of many who need it. But some recent and almost unnoticeable steps by federal agencies could mean transgender care coverage federal employees and many others. Many…

Are you a federal employee without health insurance?


For all the talk of gold-plated federal pay and benefits, the American Federation of Government Employees estimates that some 250,000 feds don’t enroll in the Federal Employees Health  Benefits Program (FEHBP) because they can’t afford the premiums. If you fall in that category, Federal Times wants to get your view on whether the Affordable Care Act (widely known as “Obamacare”) will help provide coverage or not. To weigh in,  please call Staff Writer Sean Reilly at 703-750-8684 or email him at Thanks very much!

Today's holiday just another furlough day for many feds


Officially, today (i.e., Oct. 14, marking Columbus Day) remains on the books as a paid federal holiday. But because of the partial government shutdown, only a limited number of federal employees are scheduled to be paid for it. Even employees deemed “excepted” (or as many feds put it, “essential”) during the shutdown must take today as an unpaid furlough day unless required to report to work, according to Office of Personnel Management instructions (check out pp. 12 and 13). As OPM puts it in a helpful question-and-answer format: “Q: Will an ‘excepted’ employee who does not work on a holiday…

One man, two wives and an annuity


Nearly a decade after he died, the complicated marital turnabouts of a U.S. Forest Service employee named Don King gave rise Friday to a ruling by the  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. First, some background. Try to follow along, it’s complicated. In 1967, King married a woman named Diana. They divorced in 1980. They remarried in 1981. Then, they divorced again 18 months later. And yet they held themselves out to be married for years afterward, living in the same house, keeping joint accounts and even celebrating their (original) anniversary. But in 2002, Don moved out. He…

IBM to integrate Air Force pay, personnel systems


The Air Force on Monday awarded IBM an $11.8 million contract to integrate its military personnel and pay processes into one system. As part of the Air Force Integrated Personnel and Pay System Program (AF-IPPS), IBM will design “an enterprise resource planning-based solution to meet all personnel and pay requirements,” according to a Defense Department announcement. Work is expected to be completed by December 2014. The new personnel and pay system will replace the Military Personnel Data System (MilPDS) and the Defense Joint Military Pay System (DJMS) for the Air Force, according to a December 2012 Mitre report. The new system will…

TSP board to ask whether sequester and furloughs affecting participants' investment choices


The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board plans to ask Thrift Savings Plan participants whether the sequester and–in many cases, employee furloughs–has prompted them to change their investment choices. The question will be added to the biannual survey going out to a sample of about 50,000 TSP account holders this fall, Renee Wilder, the board’s director of enterprise planning, said in a brief interview today. At the board’s monthly meeting, Wilder said that TSP participation among active Federal Employees Retirement System members dipped slightly in June to a 12-month low of 2.39 million, but it is unclear whether that decline stemmed from…

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