The retirement increase will come in the form of higher employee contributions to federal workers’ pensions. Most employees currently contribute 0.8 percent. Workers hired after 2012, except those with five years of previous federal service, will pay 3.1 percent of their salaries.
“It is also important to address the false notion that federal workers are somehow the beneficiaries of extravagant pensions compared to their private sector counterparts,” says the FWA letter. “Such claims could not be further from the truth.”
Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about the federal workplace that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.
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“Clearly, federal workers and retirees have done more than any other group in the name of deficit reduction,” Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said when the Federal-Postal Coalition sent a similar letter to Congress last week. “It is time for others to step up and recognize the need for shared sacrifice.”
The 15 unions that signed the Alliance’s letter are: the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; the Association of Civilian Technicians; the International Association of Fire Fighters; the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers; the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots; the Metal Trades Department; the National Association of Government Employees; the National Federation of Federal Employees; the Seafarers International Union; the Sheet Metal Workers International Association; the SPORT Air Traffic Controllers Organization; and the United Power Trades Organization.
Previous columns by Joe Davidson are available at wapo.st/JoeDavidson.