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Federal retirement measures included in transportation bill

Federal retirement system reforms have been inserted into a transportation bill to offset some of the costs of that legislation.

Federal retirement system reforms have been inserted into a transportation bill to offset the cost of that legislation—a move that has incensed at least one federal labor leader.

The Securing Annuities for Federal Employees Act (H.R. 3813), approved this week by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has been included as part of the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 7). Sponsors intend to use savings generated by the SAFE Act to cover costs contained in the transportation bill. The bill was posted online by the House Rules Committee.

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley was quick to express indignation over the move. According to a release issued by union, Kelley was “appalled that the House Republican leadership would break pension promises made to federal workers years ago to fund a transportation bill.”

The SAFE Act generates savings by increasing federal employees’ pension contributions, eliminating the Federal Employees Retirement System supplement for employees who take early non-mandatory retirement, and changing pension formulas for new employees.

“Why look to highway trust funds and gas taxes to fix crumbling roads and bridges when you can find the funding by reneging on federal pension commitments and cut federal pay?” Kelley said in a statement.

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