The budget resolution that Congress passed today does not contain the benefit cuts for federal employees that were contained in the House’s recent version.
The budget resolution that had been passed earlier this month by the House contained a variety of proposed cuts to federal benefits. Among those were greater contributions from federal employees to their pension programs, elimination of the separate pay scales for financial regulators (which would amount to a pay cut for the employees affected), and changing how interest rates are calculated on the G Fund, something that likely would have resulted in lower returns for investors in that fund. For details on these proposals, see Concurrent Budget Resolution Proposes Benefit Cuts for Federal Employees.
One of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received in the last few months goes something like this: “Will I be exempted from the proposed changes to our retirement programs?”
Federal employees all want to know how varying proposals impacting their pay and benefits will affect them. The answer, however, is always the same – until (or if) something passes, it isn’t possible to know the answers to these questions because the laws haven’t been written by Congress yet.
As Ralph Smith wrote in the his article on the budget resolution:
Before reading the proposed changes, keep in mind that this is a report with numerous proposals. They are not the final budget. It is still in the early stages of the budget process. While the proposals are still in play, what is actually contained in the budget that emerges from Congress for fiscal year 2018 is likely to be different.
That turned out to be prescient advice. Federal employees can perhaps relax a bit more easily knowing that none of the proposals from the aforementioned House budget resolution will be enacted in the final budget.