Last week, House Republican Leaders John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) sent President Obama a budget proposal outlining approximately $375 billion in cuts over the next five years. Among the proposed reductions was changing the formula for calculating Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuities from the average of the highest three salaried years to the highest five years. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that this change would save about $1.2 billion over a five-year period. Another recommendation proposed by the House Republican Leadership is to increase the retirement age of certain members of the federal workforce. Boehner and Cantor recommend no retirement benefits be available for federal employees until they reach age 62. CBO estimates that this proposal would save approximately $1.3 billion over the next five years. These misguided proposals have been considered and rejected, in a bipartisan way, in the past. Moreover, it is highly doubtful that the GOP plan has support either at the White House, or can get any traction on Capitol Hill.
NAPUS is maintaining an eagle-eye on budget shenanigans that may directly or indirectly impact postal employees and retirees. As referenced in the FERS sick leave article, it appears that federal and postal employees were milked, through the creation of the TSP Roth IRA, to help pay for a piece of legislation that has absolutely nothing to do with the federal or postal workforce; and the federal workforce’s financial contribution to the tobacco to bill was greeted with the elimination pro-employee provisions in the bill – first by the Senate Health Committee, and second by Sen. DeMint. In addition, we need to be attentive to H.R. 22, the pending postal relief legislation, to ensure that it does not morph from providing temporary relief to becoming a revenue stream for deficit reduction, or simply a venue for postal cost-cutting.