Mar 26, 2014

OPM Plan Unveiled to Improve Federal Retirement Operations

"...Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta announced a new strategic plan Tuesday that she said will help the agency “recruit, retain and honor a world-class federal workforce.”

While Archuleta said the “Strategic IT Plan addresses our technology needs across the agency,” the plan itself states that it is focused on “especially retirement programs and USAJobs.”

Those two areas represent the entire spectrum of federal employment, from recruitment to retirement. Recruitment and retirement also are areas in which OPM has had extensive information technology difficulties in the past..."

Read more at The Washington Post

Mar 6, 2014

Proposed $20bn Budget in Financial Relief for USPS

"...US President Barrack Obama has proposed a new Budget that seeks more than $20bn in financial and operational relief for the US Postal Service.

The 2015 Budget proposes to return $5bn in pension surpluses to USPS over two years and restructure the Postal Service’s retiree health benefits pre-funding system to potentially provide $9bn in relief up to 2016.

It would defer about $16.7bn in payments defaulted by USPS in 2012 and 2013 to spread repayment out from 2017.

The President’s Budget also proposes some operational changes in the US Mail, starting with an immediate move to abandon Saturday mail delivery and move to a five-day-a-week schedule..."


Feb 21, 2014

COLA Reductions Will Not be in 2015 Budget

"...President Obama will not tinker with federal retirees’ cost-of-living adjustments in his fiscal 2015 budget, which is scheduled for release in early March.

Obama proposed switching to a chained Consumer Price Index -- a formula that slows the rate of inflation growth and in turn, reduces federal retirees’ and Social Security beneficiaries’ COLAs -- in his fiscal 2014 budget. He first pitched the change during the 2012 fiscal cliff negotiations.

A move to the chained CPI is still on the table in hypothetical future budget negotiations, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a press briefing on Thursday, but it will not be in the president’s fiscal 2015 budget..."


Feb 13, 2014

Postal Bill Would Affect Key Benefits

"...A postal reform bill cleared by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee would, if enacted, have wide-ranging impacts on key federal benefits programs.

The bill would allow USPS to bargain over a retirement program to replace FERS for employees hired after the enactment date, including on issues such as..."

Read more at FEDweek

Jan 29, 2014

USPS-only Health Plan in Postal Reform Bill

"...The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee debated an updated version of postal reform legislation Wednesday that would allow the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to restructure its health benefits program.

Included in the revised postal reform bill from Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is a proposal that would create a new postal-only health plan within the broader Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).

"If the Postal Service is going to be a viable, self-sustaining entity and not continue to be a drag on the Treasury, we need to work things out on the retiree health care side," Carper said in his opening statement ahead of the bill markup. "And wonder of wonders, I think we've done that."

The program, which would cover all postal employees and retirees, would require Medicare-eligible postal retirees to also enroll in Medicare parts..."

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