Bills are advancing in the House to protect retiree benefits from fraud, and another to move TSA screeners into the GS pay system.
The House is scheduled to soon vote on HR-5214, to add protections against fraud against federal retirees by “representative payees,” who are designated to act on a beneficiary’s behalf — most commonly for a retiree physically or mentally unable to handle personal financial affairs but also in some cases for minors receiving survivor benefits for children.
The bill would classify misusing federal retirement funds in that way as a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The Senate already has passed a similar bill, S-1430.
Meanwhile, the House Homeland Security Committee has passed HR-1140, to put TSA screeners under the GS pay system, resulting in higher salaries for most, and apply to them standard federal employment policies in areas including the full range of collective bargaining, whistleblower protection and appeal rights.
TSA, an arm of DHS, has operated under more restrictive policies since its creation in the wake of the 9-11 attacks as part of the Transportation Department.
Sponsors say the bill will address the high turnover and low employee satisfaction levels that have annually put the TSA near the bottom in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and the Best Places to Work in Government rankings.