Pay, Benefits And Retirement: Ten To Remember In 2004

Top stories appearing on in 2004.

As expected, 2004 turned out to be another interesting year in the federal government. One story that seemed destined to dominate the landscape of the federal workplace in 2004 and will continue to do so is the continued move toward changing the personnel systems at the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security – moving away from Title-5 restrictions for purposes of national security, according to administration officials.

Even though the National Security Personnel System was actually signed into law at the end of 2003, implementation of the system is set to begin in the summer of 2005, and the various drafts of the system were distributed, discussed and even protested in 2004.

And of course 2004 was an election year. When an election is expected to go down to the wire as this one did, many initiatives and proposals across the government, especially those tied to specific administration agendas, tend to stall out or get postponed, dependent on the outcome of the election. In others words, if this guy isn’t going to be in here anymore, this initiative may not be very important to the incoming president. In 2004, the incumbent George W. Bush narrowly defeated Democratic Sen. John Kerry, so the President’s Management Agenda remains a viable initiative for agencies as Bush serves out the remainder of his term.

The war in Iraq and the international war on terror, as well as a continued manhunt for Osama Bin Laden, continue to be primary objectives of the current administration – which impacts the federal workforce as it pertains to budgets, recruiting and retention, outsourcing, etc.

For readers, the biggest stories for the most part focused logically on pay and retirement issues. In fact, listed below are 10 of the most popular articles that appeared on in 2004. As always, thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit with us here at

  1. Congress Approves 3.5 Percent Pay Raise For FedsFederal employees, both civilian and military, can expect to receive a 3.5 percent pay increase in January after Congress approved the increase over the weekend.

    November 22, 2004

  2. Finally Approved: Feds Get 3.5 Percent Average Pay RaisePresident Bush signs bill that funds 3.5 percent pay increase for federal workers.

    December 9, 2004

  3. Congressman Says Country Can’t Afford Higher Federal Pay RaiseThe chairman of the subcommitee that handles the federal pay raise is urging his colleagues in the House to limit the federal 2005 pay raise to 1.5 percent.

    February 22, 2004

  4. Want to Retire? Here’s HowRetirement planning is critical to any federal employee who wants to be able to retire. The first step is developing a retirement plan. Here are suggestions for what to include in your personal retirement plan.

    May 19, 2004

  5. Planning for Retirement: Potential Shock Number OneAre you ready for retirement? Have you carefully planned for future income and expenses? Here is the first potential shock: Your money may not give you as much income as you think.

    July 1, 2004

  6. Retirement Shock Number Two: Where Is All My Money Going?Your expenses may not go down after you retire so plan accordingly.

    July 12, 2004

  7. Retirement Shock Number Three: InflationThe rate of inflation can have a big impact on your standard of living in retirement.

    July 22, 2004

  8. Federal Employee Gets $300,000 Settlement in LawsuitA federal employee prevailed in his EEO complaint against DHS winning over $300,000 in a jury verdict.

    August 1, 2004

  9. Smokers Need Not ApplyThere is no smoking allowed anytime, anywhere on the Baltimore campus of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    June 16, 2004

  10. Are You A Millionaire Yet?Are you a millionaire? Will you become one before you retire?

    November 29, 2004

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47