GOP Sharks Coming in for Another Bite
After furlough, sequester, pay freezes, shutdown, increased retirement contributions, and other agency budget cuts affecting training, promotions, and awards, it appears Republicans are coming in for round 3 of attacks on federal employees and their families. Republican Representative Paul Ryan released his 2015 House Republican budget on April 1, 2014. This budget was approved by the House Budget Committee on April 3rd. Once again, the Republican budget seeks to eviscerate the federal workforce through a number of means including an estimated across the board five-percent pay-cut for current federal employees (no grandfather clause) in the form of increased retirement contributions with no additional benefits. This budget also proposes to eliminate the special Social Security retirement supplement which pays federal employees an equivalent Social Security benefit at an earlier age once the employee is otherwise eligible for retirement.
Social Security Impacts Next
Social Security is a significant retirement component for federal employees under the FERS scheme (Federal Employee Retirement System). The Ryan budget proposal ambiguously hints at significant Social Security cuts that would further reduce federal employee retirement benefits, even though federal employees will be required to contribute more under the Ryan budget. In short, federal employees will be required to contribute more toward retirement under FERS, yet receive less benefits in retirement. Some would call this redistribution of wealth- just to the wrong people.
Federal employees are again targets in the cross-hairs of Republicans, even while everyone wants to conduct a study on why the federal workforce is falling apart after reported “record low morale.” (see OPM Website on the 2013 Federal Employee Survey results). Federal employees also recently spoke directly on the impact of pay cuts and freezes through a “dramatic drop” in contributions, continuing a mufti-year trend that began when federal employees became under significant attack from Republicans, as evidenced by the chart below. (InformedFed has advocated federal employees not contribute through the Combined Federal Campaign to send a message).