Fedweek

The House and Senate have agreed to include several provisions affecting the federal workforce in a wide ranging defense bill (S-1790) coming up for a final vote. That language would:

Require a study of the impact of the standard two-year probationary period for competitive service positions that has been in place at DoD for nearly three years, double the standard elsewhere, rejecting a House bid to revert to a one-year period immediately.

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Broaden the situations in which federal employees are reimbursed for the additional taxes they incur because certain transfer allowances were made taxable as income to them under a 2017 law. Effective retroactive to the start of 2018 when that change took effect, reimbursement now will apply—in addition to previously covered situations—to employees returning home from overseas assignments in order to retire or otherwise separate from service, “last move home” relocations for SES members poised to retire, and assignments under the Government Employees Training Act.

Require that in any future government shutdown, OPM must continue to process changes in FEHB and FEDVIP enrollments, and that coverage must continue under FEDVIP and FLTCIP without billing to affected employees until the shutdown ends.

Extend for another five years the authority of agencies to reemploy retired federal employees under limited conditions at full salary and without an offset against their annuities.