Lawmakers urge OPM's Pon not move forward with proposed cuts to fed benefits
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Jun 15, 2018
A group of 26 lawmakers is urging Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon not to make the cuts to federal employee retirement benefits he proposed last month.
“We write to you to oppose the changes to federal employee retirement benefits included in your May 4, 2018 letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, and to voice our strong concern for the impact these proposals would have on the financial planning of active and retired federal employees and the federal government’s ability to recruit and retain a strong civilian workforce,” the group wrote in a letter to Pon dated June 13.
In the letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Pon proposed four main changes to federal employee retirement benefits that will affect 2.6 million federal retirees and survivors who receive monthly annuity payments:
1) Eliminate the Federal Employees’ Retirement System annuity supplements for new retirees and survivor annuitants;
2) Increase the Civil Service Retirement System and FERS average pay period to five years from three years;
3) Increase FERS employees’ contribution to their retirement to one percent each year until they reach 7.25 percent of basic pay; and
4) Reduce or eliminate retirement cost-of-living adjustments.
The agency expects to save an estimated $143 billion over ten years if all four proposes are enacted.
“We fear that these cuts are motivated by an ongoing effort to balance the budget on the backs of federal workers rather than an effort to provide a comprehensive approach to modernizing federal employee compensation,” the letter continues.
The group is asking Pon to instead develop comprehensive reform proposals that would modernize the federal government’s compensation system while still making it an attractive place to work.
Read the full letter here.