The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to allow government employees within the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) to credit unused sick leave toward time-in-service pension calculations.
The sick-leave language was added to the Disabled Military Retiree Relief Act of 2009, which the House approved June 25 by a unanimous, 404-0 vote.
The measure calls for bringing some FERS benefits in line with those already enjoyed by workers covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), and it contains a number of other components geared toward boosting benefits for both FERS and CSRS employees.
The Act also fixes the Postal Service’s T-COLA levels in effect December 31 as the minimum T-COLA level for Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories as well. If the bill passes, those levels could rise if the federal locality rates rise in specific locations, but they could not be reduced.
Unfortunately, the outlook for including the FERS sick leave and T-COLA provisions in the Senate version remains cloudy. Earlier this month, South Carolina’s Jim DeMint forcedthe removal of the provision from another bill, and there are no signs that his position has changed.