April 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm #127310
Shutdown news starting to come out
From OPM – http://www.opm.gov/furlough2011/
What have you heard?
Pay Benefit Info
- Health benefits and life insurance coverage will continue during a shutdown, as long as the shutdown doesn’t last more than a year.
- But furloughed employees may lose their long-term care, dental and vision coverage. The guidance says “deductions will cease for non-excepted employees” — that is, those who are furloughed. OPM said it will provide information on how furloughed employees can continue long-term care, dental and vision coverage by Friday. I’ve asked OPM for confirmation on this and will update the blog when they get back to me.
- Any paid leave — annual, sick or otherwise — will be canceled. Meaning you still won’t come in to work, but you won’t be paid for those days.
- As expected, it will be up to Congress to decide whether furloughed employees will be paid for the shutdown time. It happened last time, but given the prominence of deficit hawks in Congress these days — and the general hostility towards federal employees in some quarters — it may not happen this time.
- If an excepted employee refuses to report for work, he will be considered absent without leave and subject to any AWOL penalties.
- Federal employees’ pensions — including calculation of the high-3 — won’t be affected unless the shutdown lasts for more than six months.
Federal agencies that would close or curtail services include:
- Internal Revenue Service: The IRS would stop processing tax refunds for returns filed on paper. Returns processed electronically would still generate refunds.
- Small Business Administration: The SBA would not process applications for business loans.
- Federal Housing Administration: A shutdown would stop FHA from making new loan guarantees.
- National Parks: National Parks would close
- Cherry Blossom Parade: A shutdown in the next few days would cancel the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, which is scheduled for April 9.
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