Mar 25, 2017

Understanding Military Service Deposit Requirements

"...One of the least understood aspects of federal retirement policy involves capturing credit for military service. The military began deducting Social Security from military wages on January 1, 1957. Congress enacted a law in 1982 giving employees the opportunity to make a deposit into their civilian retirement system for active military time served after 1956.

Individuals who make the deposit are entitled to credit for the military service under both the Social Security system and the applicable civilian retirement system..."

Read more at FEDweek

Mar 22, 2017

2018 May be Largest Retiree COLA in years

"...While many federal workers are sweating the prospect of budget and program cuts, downsizing and wondering if there will be a 2018 — assuming they still have jobs — retirees are in a different place.

They are safe from program and budget cuts but always concerned about prices — especially for things (like medicine) that retirees generally spend more for than regular workers. The good news for the retired folk is that there is a faint pulse in the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) financial lifeline. Faint, but there.

With only seven months to go in the COLA countdown, federal, postal and military retirees and people who receive Social Security are in line for a 1.03 percent inflation adjustment in January 2018..."

Read more at Federal News Radio

Mar 18, 2017

‘Big Day’ for Postal Reform Declared by House Committee

"...Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have lobbied hard for postal reform this year, and have already briefed President Donald Trump about their intention to have a pair of bills arrive on his desk soon.

For the first time in recent years, this attempt to remedy the U.S. Postal Service’s troubled business model has received the support of four major postal unions, private industry and the committee’s leadership from both parties.

“This is a big day. We’ve been working on a postal reform bill for a long time,” committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said. “This is the next step in a process that has been very bipartisan from start to finish.”..."


Mar 13, 2017

Bill Proposed to Fix COLA Gap

"...For the past two years, federal retirees have cautiously watched the cost-of-living-adjustment rates to see whether their rise, or lack thereof, would mean a staggering price tag for Medicare benefits.

But a new bill from Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., aims to end the near-annual cliffhanger by shifting the COLA from one Consumer Price Index and onto another.

Garamendi introduced HR 1251 — or the CPI-E Act of 2017 — on Feb. 28 with the goal of changing the formula used to calculate the COLA rates from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to the CPI for the elderly, or CPI-E.

The COLA determines how much select retirees — including many former federal employees — will be able to offset the rise in their Medicare premiums..."

Read more at the Federal Times

Feb 8, 2017

Postal Reform Legislation Introduced

"...Legislation has been introduced in the House to make a number of reforms to the Postal Service.

The Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 756) would make pension funding reforms, allow for postal rate increases and even allow the Postal Service to provide non-postal services in some cases.

With regards to reforming the Postal Service’s pension program, the bill would do the following:

  • Calculates the Postal Service’s pension costs and liabilities using the salary growth and demographic assumptions that are specific to the Postal Service population instead of the government-wide population, as in current law.

  • Any surplus within the Postal Service’s Civil Service Retirement System or Federal Employees Retirement System accounts must be amortized over 30 years and returned to the Postal Service...."

The bill also addresses health benefits of current and retired Postal workers:

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