A group of over 100 House Democrats sent a letter to House leaders expressing opposition to proposed changes to federal employee pension programs in the 2018 budget proposal.
The letter was sent to House speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). It expressed concerns on behalf of the authors to proposed cuts to cost of living adjustments (COLA) and increased contributions federal employees would have to make to their retirement programs as outlined in the White House’s 2018 budget proposal.
“We urge you to reject these destructive proposals and block any similar measures from being considered on the House floor,” wrote the House Democrats who signed the letter.
The letter said that the increased retirement contributions and switch to a high-5 for benefit calculations amount to a pay cut. The letter’s authors also stated that the proposed changes would impact both current and former federal employees which they said “breaks a promise to current federal employees and retirees.”
A copy of the letter is included below.
Letter From AFGE
The letter from the House Democrats was sent a day after the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) sent a letter to Congress expressing its opposition on the same subject.
AFGE’s letter urged opposition to the same items from the 2018 budget proposal, including the increased amount from FERS employees to their pension contributions, elimination of COLAs, and elimination of the FERS annuity supplement.
AFGE said in the letter that the FERS and CSRS retirement systems have “played no role whatsoever in the creation of the federal budget deficit,” and therefore should not be used as a means to reducing it.
The letter also stated that cutting federal employees’ retirement benefits would be harmful to the American economy.
The 2018 budget proposal is an initial guideline to lay out the administration’s priorities. Ultimately, however, Congress must approve the final spending plan for the government.