Employee Groups, House Democrats Oppose Proposed Retirement Cuts

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Thirty unions and associations representing federal employees and retirees have joined in a letter to Congress urging rejection of the Trump administration’s budget proposals affecting federal employees and retirees, saying those changes “would undoubtedly make it harder to afford to retire, requiring employees to consider working longer, reducing government savings and delaying the career progression of younger employees prepared to take on greater responsibility.”

They said that in total, the proposals would cost employees and retirees more than $149 billion over 10 years “and much more thereafter, as the losses would compound over time.”

The proposed increase in required contributions toward retirement by FERS-covered employees “is nothing more than a pay cut” and the benefit-cutting aspects–reducing COLAs for CSRS retirees and ending them for FERS retirees; basing new annuities on high-5 salary rather than high-3 and ending the FERS supplement paid until retirees become eligible for Social Security at age 62–“renege on the government’s commitments to its current and former employees regarding the pensions they receive in exchange for their hard work over long careers.”

Meanwhile, about 100 House Democrats sent a similar letter to leaders of both parties, saying “we should not alter policies that families have planned their lives around, particularly when it affects current retirees with limited ability to make up for unforeseen reductions in expected income.”

The annual budget cycle is off to a late start and it is still uncertain whether Congress will try to pass a budget blueprint that could take positions on those issues or whether it will work only on the appropriations bills.