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Articles | House Budget Plan Extends Federal Pay Freeze to 2015, Increases Retirement Contributions
House Budget Plan Extends Federal Pay Freeze to 2015, Increases Retirement Contributions
The GOP House Budget Committee's fiscal 2013 budget plan proposes extending the
federal pay freeze through 2015, cutting the federal workforce by 10 percent,
and increasing federal retirement contributions of employees.
The plan, released this morning by Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), gave
the following specifics that are of particular interest to federal
The federal government has added 147,000 new workers since the President
took office. It is no coincidence that private--sector employment continues
to grow only sluggishly while the government expands: To pay for the
public-- sector's growth, Washington must immediately tax the private
sector or else borrow and impose taxes later to pay down the debt.
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
Compensation for federal workers continues to outpace pay for their
private--sector counterparts. The non--partisan CBO recently released
a study saying that federal workers are, on average, compensated 16 percent
higher than comparable private--sector employees.21 Immune from the effects
of the recession, federal workers have received regular salary bumps regardless
of productivity or economic realities.
The reforms called for in this budget aim to slow the federal
government's unsustainable growth and reflect the growing frustration of workers
across the country at the privileged rules enjoyed by government employees. They
reduce the public--sector bureaucracy, not through layoffs, but via a
gradual, sensible attrition policy. By 2015, this reform would result in a 10
percent reduction in the federal workforce.
Additionally, this budget freezes federal pay through 2015 and asks
federal employees to make a more equitable contribution to their retirement
plans. When combined, these proposals will save taxpayers approximately $368
billion over ten years.
Federal Employee Groups Sharply Rebuke Budget Plan
Joseph Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal
Employees Association (NARFE) stated today, "Chairman Ryan's belief that it is
permissible to penalize middle-class federal workers, who protect Americans and
keep our nation moving forward, is frightening. Whatever happened to 'shared
sacrifice'? What does he hope to gain by prolonging pay freezes, pinching
paychecks, and eliminating employees, including those who inspect the safety of
our food and nuclear power plants? It's worth remembering that losing one in 10
federal workers means losing 100,000 employees at the U.S. Departments of
Defense, Veterans Affairs, Justice and Homeland Security."
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) national president John
Gage responded to the House GOP budget plan today stating, "Federal employees
already have had their pay frozen for two consecutive years, an unprecedented
action that will save the government $60 billion over 10 years. And new federal
employees will pay four times as much in retirement contributions, saving
taxpayers an additional $15 billion. That's a total of $75 billion in savings.
It is fundamentally wrong for federal employees to be required, yet again, to
serve as the Automated Teller Machine for the nation. Enough is enough."
"The Ryan budget proposes to cut the federal workforce by 10 percent, and
with its extension of the pay freeze and proposed pension contribution increases
would drive many federal workers out of public service," said the National
Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) president, Colleen M. Kelley. "It is almost as
though the authors of this budget don't know, don't understand or don't care
about the key role federal employees play in helping keep our nation safe,
ensuring that our food and medicines are safe and effective, that our air and
water are safe, and performing so many other services that people not only
expect and want, but need, as well," the NTEU leader added.
To read the full budget plan, go to: