The Best of 2012

From proposed pension changes to a petition for an extra day off at Christmas to the end of the pay freeze, here are the top stories on in 2012.

Every year at this time, we like to take a moment to reflect on the events of the past year. For, that means looking back at the year’s most popular articles.

From a petition to an extra day off at Christmas to proposals to reduce federal employees’ pensions to the official end to the pay freeze, the list that follows captures the most widely read articles on from 2012.

We are both fortunate and thankful to have a growing number of authors writing for us who offer our users the benefit of their expertise and experience in working for and with the federal community. Thanks to them, it’s possible for us to provide our readers with articles such as these.

Our thanks to all of you who visit the site throughout each day to stay informed. We wish all of you a happy and prosperous 2013!

  1. Bill Introduced to Reduce Federal Workers’ Pensions
    January 25, 2012
    Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) has introduced legislation that would increase the amount federal employees would be required to pay towards their retirement plans and eliminate the FERS annuity supplement after 2012.
  2. Two Significant Changes to FERS
    October 21, 2012
    You wouldn’t expect the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” to affect federal employee retirement benefits, would you?  But it does make two significant changes to the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS).
  3. Proposed Pay Increase for Federal Workers in 2013
    January 6, 2012
    The White House intends to propose a 0.5% pay increase for civilian federal employees in 2013.
  4. Do You Want Christmas Eve Off This Year?
    December 2, 2012
    Should December 24, 2012 be an extra paid holiday for federal employees? Sign the petition if you think this is a good idea.
  5. Christmas Eve and the Federal Employee
    December 13, 2012
    What is the status of the petition filed with the White House to give federal employees an extra holiday on December 24th?
  6. End of the Federal Pay Freeze Announced
    December 27, 2012
    A new executive order announces the end of the federal pay freeze. The new pay rates will not take effect until after March 27, 2013.
  7. How Is Your Federal Employee Retirement Income Taxed?
    January 31, 2012
    Exactly how is your retirement income taxed for federal income tax purposes? The author breaks it down piece by piece.
  8. Proposed Legislation Would Temporarily End Step Increases
    February 3, 2012
    Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) has introduced legislation that would prohibit step increases for federal employees through the end of 2012. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
  9. Calculating Your 2013 COLA
    June 25, 2012
    How much  of an increase will federal retirees get in their retirement annuity in January 2013? Probably not much.
  10. Considering The New TSP Roth Option
    February 13, 2012
    The TSP will begin offering a Roth option in during the second quarter (April – June) of this year. The author provides some considerations for investors when deciding whether or not to utilize this new option in their TSP accounts.
  11. 208 TSP Millionaires Enjoy a Big Return in January
    February 2, 2012
    How are your TSP investments progressing? One TSP investor now has over $4 million in an account. 207 others don’t have that much but still have over $1 million accrued.
  12. WH Budget Asks Federal Employees to Sacrifice
    February 13, 2012
    The budget unveiled Monday by President Obama proposes to increase the contribution federal employees make towards retirement by 1.2% over three years beginning in 2013.
  13. Christmas Eve Holiday Petition Now Exceeds Required 25,000 Signatures
    December 17, 2012
    More than 25,000 people have now signed a petition asking President Obama to give Federal employees an extra paid holiday on December 24th.
  14. House Approves Federal Worker Cuts, Pay Freeze
    March 29, 2012
    The House has passed the Ryan budget plan for FY 2013 which includes extending the pay freeze until 2015, reduces the size of the federal workforce, and increases federal employees’ pension contributions.
  15. 10 Potential Mistakes To Avoid When Considering Retirement
    March 27, 2012
    The author outlines ten common mistakes federal retirees should strive to avoid to get the most out of their retirement benefits.
  16. Romney: Federal Pay ‘Unfair’
    April 25, 2012
    In a speech in Manchester, NH this week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that it is fundamentally unfair that federal employees enjoy better pay and benefits than the workers they serve in the private sector.
  17. Will Federal Employees Get a Pay Raise in 2013?
    March 15, 2012
    Will federal employees receive a pay raise in 2013 or will the pay freeze continue in effect for another year? Our best guess: A small raise for feds in January.
  18. When Should You Apply for Social Security?
    April 30, 2012
    Should you apply for your Social Security benefit at age 62 or later?
  19. Details of Pension Changes Revealed
    February 17, 2012
    Congress has passed the payroll tax cut extension agreement and the President is expected to sign it. But what exactly are the details of the agreement as they relate to federal pensions?
  20. Three Red Flags in Her Early Retirement Plan
    July 23, 2012
    A financial planner said one of his new clients was a federal employee.  It became clear he was not familiar with important benefits his client had as a federal employee.
  21. 2012 Paid Federal Holidays
    January 2, 2012
    Current federal employees get ten official holidays in 2012 as defined by OPM.
  22. The Practical Effects of the Proposed Pension Changes
    January 26, 2012
    The author illustrates a hypothetical scenario of two FERS employees with identical salary histories to show the dramatic impact the recently proposed pension reduction bill, as currently written, would have on future federal retirees.
  23. More Information on the TSP Participant Data Breach
    May 25, 2012
    A number of our users asked how they can find out if their personal information was compromised in the computer data breach announced by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board on Friday. Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the situation.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.