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NFFE to Congress: Don't Sell Out New Federal Hires on Retirement Benefits

Thursday, February 16, 2012
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Cory Bythrow, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 216-4458

 

Washington, D.C. – In response to a reported agreement to increase employee pension contribution for new federal hires to 3.1% of their pay as a ‘pay-for’ for the payroll tax cut extension, National Federation of Federal Employees National President William R. Dougan issued the following statement:

 

“NFFE is adamantly opposed to placing any additional costs on federal employees, who have already sacrificed billions to address our nation’s budget deficit. Under the current two-year pay freeze, federal employees and their families are making the hard choices they need to to help their country heal from the great recession. They have endured the freeze and done their jobs without complaint, because they believed that their sacrifice could make a difference. Today, we are not so sure that those on Capitol Hill understand the magnitude of that sacrifice. Now Congress is coming after the next generation of federal employees by asking them to pay a permanent price to solve a temporary problem. Neither current nor future federal workers got our nation into this mess, yet Congress is trying to heap the responsibility of cleaning it up squarely on their backs. Why aren’t the wealthiest among us being asked to pay a little more? Why aren’t banks being asked to repay the public for the damage they caused to all of us just a few short years ago? Congress would do this country a great disservice if it sells out the next generation of intelligence analysts, firefighters, and veteran’s nurses simply to protect millionaires and billionaires from taking a small hit.

 

Treating new federal hires different from current federal workers with respect to their retirement is a disturbing precedent.  We are all public servants. We all make sacrifices to serve our country. Congress must not forget that.

 

Federal agencies are only able to recruit the talent they need because, though they don’t pay as much, federal government jobs are still considered good jobs.  If we go down this path of taking away key benefits from future federal employees, that will no longer be true. The days of federal agencies hoping to attract the best and brightest will be over. Taking a giant symbolic step in the race to the bottom by undermining middle class federal employees’ retirement security is unfair to workers and it’s bad policy.”

 

Comments

Shelley   02/20/12 11:47 pm
Annuity Supplement Elimination
As a 30 year federal employee who started working for the government under the old retirement system (CSRS) and who transferred to FERS when it was first put in place, I feel betrayed by my Government.

At the time FERS came into play our Government entered into a contract with its employees - a contract that said it (the Government) would match (up to 5%) the amount that the employee put into TSP. The purpose of FERS was to allow the Government the ability to get out from under the ever increasing cost of the CSRS, especially as the work force was aging and retirements were increasing. A lot of CSRS employees elected to go to FERS based on the promises made � one of which was the matching funds.

Now the Government once again wants to dishonor its contract with its employees (who are supposedly overpaid and lazy to boot) to pay for our Congress's continued inability to do its job. Instead of making the federal workforce pay more and do more with less (less agency funding, less people, less support from our government) why doesn't Congress vote to take the money out of their pay instead?

Why doesn�t our President, instead of putting the burden on his employees (yes, Mr. President, we are your employees) stand up for us once in a while? You, through the Congress, put in place laws that federal employees must execute and then you turn around and make us pay an exorbitant price. You seem to forget that we federal employees are also tax payers � we pay taxes to help fund the programs that result from the laws you pass. Why should we have to pay twice (through paying taxes and then as the result of pay freezes, etc.) when no one else in the country has to do so?

Irene Gorczyca   02/17/12 3:21 pm
Increase in Employee Pension Contributions
I wouldn't mind an increase in my pension contribution IF AND ONLY IF we are allowed to deposit our remaining annual leave at the end of every year into Thrift Savings. Annual leave is earned income. It is paid out as earned income when used and taxed as earned income at retirement. Annual leave is already entitled by definition to be deposited into TSP, yet it is not allowed.

Gary   02/16/12 11:25 am
Annuity Supplement Elimination
I agree that these changes to a future retirement program are not wise; however I think a more important issue is HR 3813 (buried in the HR 7 Transportation Bill) that will eliminate the Annuity Supplement for present employees (FERS) that retire after 12/31/2012. This is a retroactive change that doe away with a promise made over 25 years ago when FERS was created.

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