Fedweek

At the mid-year point, few of the Trump administration’s initiatives regarding federal compensation policies have advanced, but the same also is true of the largely opposite proposals of employee organizations and their allies in Congress.

Congress has not actively considered administration proposals such as requiring most employees to pay about 6 percent more of salary toward retirement; to reduce the value of benefits to future retirees—through adopting a “high-five” formula and generally eliminating the FERS supplement—and to reduce the value of COLAs for both current and future retirees. Senate Republicans at one time considered pushing a budget blueprint that could have created a path to such changes but quickly dropped the idea.

However, neither has there been movement on initiatives generally backed by Democrats to repeal the higher retirement contributions already required of more recently hired employees; and to boost the value of COLAs for FERS retirees to the level under the CSRS system.

Also continuing to lie dormant are the administration’s proposals to vary the government’s contributions toward FEHB premiums according to a plan’s rating on a quality measure the OPM uses; and to increase the buyout maximum to $40,000 government-wide from $25,000 in order to match the maximum already available at DoD.