Expert's View

Reg Jones

No, I’m not talking about bills you have to pay. I’m talking about bills that have been introduced in Congress that should be of interest to you. Whether any of them will be passed, signed by the President, and become law remains to be seen. However, the odds of that happening will depend in part on the input they receive from you and push from unions or professional organizations advocating for benefits.

H.R. 82/S. 1302. Sponsored by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), The Social Security Fairness Act would repeal both the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). These bills have been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance.

ADVERTISEMENT

H.R. 2337. Introduced by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), The Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act would reform the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) by 1) giving a monthly rebate of $150 to any current beneficiaries who were age 62 or older before 2023 and 2) create a new formula that would be used to calculate the benefits of future individuals who would be affected by the WEP. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R. 394. Introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly, The Equal COLA Act would assure that Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retirees would get the same annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) as Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) retirees. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

H.R. 392/S. 561. Sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), The Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR), would provide federal employees with a 3.2 percent average pay increase in 2022. The bills have been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

H.R. 302. Introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the Preventing a Patronage System Act would require that presidential administrations obtain the agreement of Congress before reclassifying competitive service positions and making them non-competitive, as was attempted by the previous administration. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

H.R. 695/S. 145. Sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), The USPS Fairness Act would repeal the onerous requirement that the U.S. Postal Service be prefunded. These bills have been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Whether any of these bill are enacted in their current or revised form remains to be seen. Some of them – like the ones revising or eliminating the Windfall Elimination Provision, the Government Pension Offset or both – have been introduced and reintroduced for decades without being enacted. With a new administration in place that has a more favorable attitude toward the federal workforce, one or more of these bills may have a better chance of becoming law.

FERS and Social Security Take Some Stress Out of Planning to Spend Your TSP, IRAs

How to Estimate a FERS Special Retirement Supplement

What Unused Sick Leave Will and Won’t Do for You at Retirement

FERS & CSRS: What Happens to Your Annuity if You Come Back?

FERS Retirement Guide 2021

ADVERTISEMENT