A Maryland congresswoman recently introduced a bill to roll back pension contribution hikes for new federal workers.
Donna Edwards, a Democrat, backed the bill, which is called the Federal Employee Pension Fairness Act.
“Federal employees are the backbone of our federal government and agencies,” Rep. Edwards said in a statement released earlier this month. “Whether protecting our borders, conducting life-saving medical research, or ensuring our food and medicine is safe to consume, public servants perform duties vital to the health, safety, and economic well-being of the American people.
“Yet after all their sacrifices, during the past four years federal employees, including nearly 52,000 in my congressional district, endured unpaid furloughs, saw the elimination of cost-of-living increases, and were forced to increase their own contributions to their pensions by over 500%.”
The bill would roll back pension contribution hikes for newly hired federal workers to what all federal workers, regardless of hiring date, are required to pay — 0.8 percent of their salary.
Congress passed laws requiring federal workers hired in 2013 to pay an additional 2.3 percent toward their salaries on top of that rate. Federal workers hired in 2014 are required to contribute even more to the federal pension system — 4.4 percent of their salary.
This results in a lower take-home pay for new federal workers.
“Forcing newer employees to pay more toward their retirement is unfair and unnecessary. It reduces their take-home pay and is a tax increase imposed selectively. We applaud Rep. Edwards and others for once again taking action to end this discriminatory treatment faced by the newest members of the federal workforce,” NTEU National President Colleen M. Kelley said in a statement.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Edwards last year, but it gained little traction. She recently brought it up for debate again in Congress this year.
It is unclear if the bill has any chance of success. Unfortunately, in the current divisive climate in Congress and its relationship with the White House, it more than likely stands little chance of becoming law.
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