Remember the Deficit Commission? Some of the proposals from the original Commission are still around.
The House Budget Committee approved a budget resolution last week which contains a provision that will be of interest to federal employees that is similar to what the Deficit Commission proposed several years ago.
The proposal would require federal employees and Members of Congress to make greater contributions to their share of their retirement programs. The special retirement supplement would also be eliminated. It offers no specifics, however, as to how much more would be required to be contributed towards retirement.
The budget resolution states that the change would bring federal benefits more in line with the trend in the private sector to transition towards defined contribution plans. It says it has the added benefit of giving ownership and control to the employee.
This proposal is a familiar one that arises periodically. The latest mention came when the Office of Personnel Management suggested changes to federal employee benefits to bring them more in line with the private sector. In addition to the changes proposed by the House budget resolution, the OPM proposals would also switch to a high-5 for annuity computations and reduce or eliminate cost of living adjustments.
A copy of the House budget resolution is included below.
Reform Civil Service Pensions
This budget adopts a policy proposed by the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility. It calls for federal employees, including Members of Congress and congressional staff, to make greater contributions to their own defined benefit retirement plans. It would also end the special retirement supplement, which pays federal employees the equivalent of their Social Security benefits at an earlier age.
This budget recognizes the need to create parity between federal employees and private sector employees by transitioning to defined contribution plans. These plans give ownership and flexibility to the employee. Similarly, federal employees would have more control over their own retirement security under this option.