The House of Representatives Budget Committee released its FY 2016 budget proposal today. Although it offers no specifics, the proposal calls for requiring federal employees and Members of Congress to make greater contributions towards their retirement programs.
The legislation of the budget proposal says, “In keeping with a recommendation from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, this budget calls for Federal employees—including Members of Congress and congressional staff—to make greater contributions toward their own retirement.” (emphasis added)
Remember the Deficit Commission? It was a bipartisan committee created by President Obama to “address our nation’s fiscal challenges.” The charter on the committee’s website states: “The Commission is charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run.”
Despite the GOP budget offering no details on what increased retirement contributions for federal employees might look like, since it references the Deficit Commission, one can assume the changes to federal employees’ retirement being suggested would be along the lines of what this commission proposed.
We wrote at the time of the commission’s proposal that it would freeze federal salaries and bonuses as well as switch to a high-5 system for calculating retirement benefits. (See Deficit Commission Recommends Freezing Federal Salaries, Changing Retirement Calculations)
The recommendations of the Deficit Commission ultimately failed to get the required votes to have the proposal advance in Congress. Given this past history, it’s unlikely any of the commission’s proposals would fair any better this time around, especially without any specifics. But since there is a different Congress in place than there was 5 years ago, anything is possible.
The Republican’s budget proposal would also repeal Obamacare and promises to address long term structural problems with Social Security.