Expert's View

Reg Jones

Plans were advanced in the past four years that would have adverse effects on the federal civil service – including in the form of paying more for reduced benefits. So in the clamor of voices trying to get the new administration’s attention, one has to be that of federal employees and retirees.

However, if you are an active employee, be sure to understand the limits on political activity under the Hatch Act, which you can check out at www.osc.gov. (Unless you work in certain agencies, such as those involved with national security, you may have more leeway than you think.)

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And if you are a retiree, remember the Hatch Act no longer applies to you – something that all those newly – minted recent retirees, especially, may not realize.

In addition to making your concerns known to your senators and representatives in Congress, consider backing the efforts of those organizations that represent your interests as a federal employee or retiree.

Among the latter are federal employee unions (you may be in a bargaining unit and not even know it), the Senior Executives Association, the Federal Managers Association and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association in general, plus professional associations oriented toward particular occupations or demographic groups within the government.

The more voices that are heard and the clearer are their requests, the more likely that they will get the attention they deserve.

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