On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- The Thrift Savings Plan rebounded last month from a June dip. That’s good news for your retirement account. We go over the numbers with the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s Kim Weaver.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- President Obama has chosen a retired corporate and government official to take over the Internal Revenue Service. According to the Associate Press, John Koskinen has experience managing numerous organizations in crisis. In the past, Koskinen came in to overhaul mortgage buyer Freddie Mac after its near collapse in the financial crisis and helped restructure the assets of the largest failed life insurance company in U.S. history, Mutual Benefit Life.
- Federal employee groups wish to expand the government’s new phased-retirement program to more federal workers, but many disagree about the program’s proposed mentoring requirements. The Washington Post reports that the phased retirement will allow federal employees to work part-time after the age of retirement while receiving partial annuities and continuing to pay toward their benefits. Both the National Treasury Employees Union and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees associations have raised concerns about a proposed rule that would limit eligibility to workers with 20 or more years of service.
- Even though the Defense Department is a small player in the global mobile device market, its clout with companies like Google and Apple are rising as the companies compete to meet DOD security standards. According to Federal Times, these big mobile device companies see an opportunity to expand their business into other security-conscious sectors, such as health, banking, and financial, and with a DOD security standard clearance, this process is much easier.
- The Defense Department is considering reductions that will impact civilian employees, such as eliminating civilian employee pensions for military retirees. Federal Times reports that the savings could be almost $100 billion over 10 years when combines with a halt to commissary subsidies and restrictions on the availability of unemployment benefits. As of March, more than 134,000 military retirees held civilian jobs at the DoD.
- Senate appropriators on Thursday approved a 1-percent pay hike for service members and Defense Department civilian workers in the fiscal 2014 Defense spending bill. Government Executive reports that last week the House passed its Defense appropriations bill with a 1.8-percent pay raise for troops, but nothing for the civilian workforce. This creates a conflict between the two chambers and leaves pay raises for troops and Defense civilians up in the air for next year.
- OPM is months behind schedule in eliminating the retirement claims backlog due to mandatory budget cuts and an influx of new applications from the Poster Service earlier this year. According to Government Executive, the agency hope to clear up the backlog, which now stands at 25,601 claims, by March 2014, roughly seven months later than the original target date of July 2013. This new schedule is further contingent upon the budget situation in October when the new fiscal year starts.
- Senate oversight leaders have introduced bipartisan legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, finding middle ground between partisan proposals from the House. Government Executive reports that the 2013 Postal Reform Act calls for a 40-year restructuring of USPS’ requirement to pre-fund retirees health benefits, creates a USPS-specific calculation for the agency’s retirement systems payments, and surpluses and allows for the elimination of Saturday mail delivery. Further, the bill attempts to increase revenues by authorizing USPS to create new, non-postal products, as well offering other government services at post offices.
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