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Federal Soup Top Stories

  • Plan calls for small increase in locality pay

    President Obama on Nov. 30 sent a message to Congress to inform lawmakers of his alternative pay plan for the 2016 calendar year.

  • FEEA scholarship applications open Jan. 1

    The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund announced that its 2016-17 scholarship season will open Jan 1.

  • Open Season: Understanding Health Savings Accounts and What They Can Offer

    A health savings account (HSA) combines a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a tax-favored savings account. The funds contributed to an HSA result in federal and state income tax savings in the year of contribution. Contributions to the HSA are 100 percent tax deductible, up to the legal limit. This is similar to contributions made to a deductible traditional individual retirement arrangement (IRA). Like a deductible traditional IRA contribution, a contribution to an HSA is reported on one’s income tax return as an adjustment to income (an “above-the-line” deduction). In other words, an individual does not have to itemize on his or her income taxes to get a tax benefit by contributing to the HSA.

  • View the November 30, 2015 issue as a PDF
  • DHS chief calls on Congress to back 'more effective' security efforts

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Nov. 30 reviewed some of the recent actions the department has undertaken to ramp up security—and called on Congress to take steps to reinforce the agency’s efforts.

  • Informed Investor: Traditional IRA owners can avoid double taxation on IRA distributions

    This week’s column discusses the two types of traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)—deductible and nondeductible. The column also explains, with respect to nondeductible IRAs, the importance of filing IRS Form 8606 to make sure that the contributions are not taxed when withdrawn.

  • Medicare open enrollment ends next week

    While feds may be focused on Federal Employees Health Benefits open season, the five-week period also overlaps the open season for Medicare—and the Social Security Administration is advising Medicare beneficiaries to review their coverage options.

  • Scientist charges retaliation at USDA

    A Department of Agriculture entomologist who alleges the department has penalized him because of his pesticide studies has lodged a whistleblower retaliation complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board.

  • Hatch Act revisions better address social media, email

    While the First Amendment protects the right to free speech, federal employees’ speech at work is another matter, thanks to the Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees’ political speech in ways that don’t apply to private-sector employees.

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