Most Popular Articles in 2008

What were the most popular news items on the FedSmith site in 2008? The most popular articles this past year were on the 2009 pay rates for federal employees, employee benefits and retirement issues.

As we start a new year, many of us will breathe a sigh of relief. The latest national elections are over and done with, the stock market (and TSP portfolio valued) have dropped more than anyone would have predicted back on January 2, 2008, and federal employees got a substantial pay increase starting this month.

Our small staff at FedSmith would like to thank all of our readers for visiting our site throughout the year. Our site has been growing at a rate of about 50% a year every year the past few years and 2008 was no exception. As we have added new subscribers and new readers, we have also expanded the number of articles on the site each year.

We are fortunate (and thankful) to have a growing number of authors who write columns for the site offering readers the benefit of their expertise and experience in working for and with the federal community. Authors such as John Grobe, Bob Gilson, Susan McGuire Smith, Steve Oppermann Robbie Kunreuther, Phil Varnak and Jim Armstrong each have a unique perspective and expertise that add to the value of the site for our readers.

Bob Gilson also provides popular articles appearing in the Federal Manager’s Toolbox which provides advice and guidance in human resources issues for federal managers.

We hope you continue to enjoy reading the FedSmith site and our free daily newsletter. Please feel free to send in your suggestions at any time as we do read all suggestions and have made a number of changes based on comments from our readers.

To give you an idea of the primary interests of our readers, here is a list of the top 20 articles from 2008 ranked according to the number of times each article was read. The articles are listed in order of popularity. Reflecting the growth of our site, this year’s most popular articles were read by twice as many people as the most popular articles in 2007.

As is the case in most years, the most popular articles are those dealing with federal pay and benefits. The second most popular articles concern the COLA increase for retirees and the Thrift Savings Plan. Consistent with the popularity of articles on federal pay, the most visited page on the site (outside of our front page at was the 2009 federal pay calculator. For this, you can thank our webmaster, Ian Smith, who has come up with the programming necessary to provide the extensive work that goes into this calculator (he also does all of the programming for this website as well).

Here is the list of this year’s most popular articles on the FedSmith site.

Projecting Your 2009 Federal Pay Raise (May 21)

Inflation, COLA’s and the 2009 Federal Pay Raise (June 9)

TSP Drops Fast; 2009 COLA Rate Also Drops (September 18)

2009 Health Insurance Rates: How Much Will Your Rate Change? (October 7)

Best Date to Retire in 2009 (or Early 2009) (December ’07)

3.9% Average Pay Raise for Feds in 2009 in Temporary Spending Bill (September 30)

2.9% or 3.4% in 2009? Here Are Our Predictions (February 5)

2008 Pay Raise Approved and Implemented: Median DC Federal Salary for 2008 Will Be $90,698 (January 5)

2009 COLA Jumping 5.8% for Some Federal Retirees (October 16)

Executive Order Issued on 2009 Pay Increase: Where Are the Biggest Winners Located? (December 19)

Taxing Retirees: Some States Will Give You a Break (And Some Won’t) (February 11, 2008)

House Passes Legislation To Increase Federal Annuity Payments for Some (July 31)

President Gives Feds Another Holiday in 2008 (December 12)

Future Retirees: Do You Know Your MRA? (January 12)

Your 2008 Pay Raise: Would You Prefer 3.5% or 7.6%? (January 25)

Faster Promotions Coming for Some Federal Employees (November 10)

Change in Government: Barack Obama’s Letters to AFGE President John Gage (November 13)

Medicare and Federal Retirees: Part B or Not Part B? (May 28)

Feeling the Impact of Inflation: 6.2% COLA (So Far) for 2009 (August 20)

Pay Raise? What Pay Raise? Why Some Will See a Decrease in Income in 2009 (November 2)

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