The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

March 13, 2013

Fewer workers, higher contributions toward retirement sought



By Eric Yoder

The Washington Post


WASHINGTON — The federal workforce would be reduced by attrition and employees would pay more toward their retirement benefits under the budget plan unveiled this week by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

“The federal government’s responsibilities require a strong federal workforce. Federal workers deserve to be compensated equitably for their important work, but their pay levels, pay increases and fringe benefits should be reformed to better align with those of their private-sector counterparts,” the plan says.

“The federal workforce is composed of some of the best-educated and most dedicated people in America. This workforce is integral to a well-functioning government. However, taxpayers must also receive an excellent value for their dollars,” it adds.

The plan refers in several places to a 2012 Congressional Budget Office report that concluded federal employee compensation, on average, is 16 percent above that of comparable private-sector workers. In that study, most of the advantage involved benefits; federal employees were found to be ahead in salary by 2 percent on average. Also, the CBO found substantial variation within that average, with a larger pay gap in favor of less-educated federal workers but a pay gap in favor of the private sector for those who are more educated. Other studies, most of them focusing just on pay, have reached widely varying conclusions on pay comparability.

The Ryan plan, which is scheduled for a committee vote this week and would take effect for the government fiscal year that begins in October, calls for “greater contributions” by employees toward their retirement benefits, with the government share decreasing in tandem. A committee spokesman said in an e-mail that the budget envisions requiring equal contributions from both sides, meaning an increase in the employee share of about 5.5 percentage points.

Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video