After much saber-rattling in Congress over the cost of the federal workforce, including retirement benefits, Republican lawmakers appear to be backing away from several proposals that would have adversely impacted federal workers.

Republicans in the House and Senate recently agreed to a budget framework that apparently does not touch federal worker benefits or suggest that the workforce should be cut.

Previous proposals called for substantial cuts to the federal workforce and federal benefits, including yet again raising federal workers’ pension contributions and making adverse changes to the Thrift Savings Plan.

Click here and here to review previous blogs we published on proposed changes to federal benefits.

Fortunately, it appears that all that bluster has now amounted to little more than a whimper — rather than substantial changes in federal benefits, which no doubt represents a satisfying outcome for federal workers.

However, the budget framework is not law. Congress and the White House will obviously engage in their usual budgetary dance, and with that will come more bluster about the need to restructure federal retirement benefits and the federal workforce.

Unfortunately, federal workers must go through this cycle and can only sit back and watch as their federal benefits are used as a bargaining chip on Capitol Hill.

For now though, it appears as though federal workers can give a collective sigh of relief.

However after years of pay freezes and pension contribution hikes, it does not appear as though

Congress is willing to reverse recent laws that cut federal workers’ pay and benefits.

And, unfortunately, the Republican House and Senate budget framework keeps sequestration caps intact for non-defense agencies. This will amount to nearly $500 billion in spending reductions over the next 10 years, according to FierceGovernment.

This severe restriction in spending will likely trickle down to the federal workforce in some way.


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