President Reagan's plan to force feds to put a bigger chunk of their paycheck into the retirement fund, and drastically cut annuities for anyone retiring before age 65 appears to be an idea whose political time has not yet come.
Although he outlined his retirement reform plan in January, no bill has been introduced in Congress, and the changes cannot be made without Senate and House approval. In fact, both the Senate and House--through the budgetary process--have already rejected the pay-more-retire-later plan that has inflamed the government work force.
Administration officials still insist that the retirement reform legislation will be introduced in Congress. But when asked when, the reply is "I'll check."
Federal employes now pay 7 percent of their total salary into the civil service retirement fund. They can retire at age 55 with 30 years service on an annuity--defined as a "full" benefit--that is equal to about 56 percent of their final salary. Employes who work more than 41 years get an annuity equal to about 80 percent of salary.
Under the Reagan plan, employes could still retire "early" but it would cost them an annuity reduction of 5 percent for each year they retired before age 65. The plan would be phased in over a 10-year period. It would mean that an employe 45 or younger after the bill went into effect (who had anticipated retiring on full benefit at 55) would have to work another 10 years.
The president also wants to increase employe contributions to the retirement system to 9 percent next year, and 11 percent of salary the following year. He would also deliberalize the formula used to compute annuities, thereby decreasing them for future retirees.
Although federal and postal union lobbyists are keeping a close eye on the retirement reform plan, most of them say they believe the proposal is dead at least for this year.
Short-Changed Retirees: Many of the area's 100,000 federal-military retirees received their retirement checks yesterday. The checks reflected a cost-of-living raise of 3.9 percent (for retirees older than 62, those on disability and survivors who receive annuities) and 3.3 percent for nondisability retirees younger than 62.
A lot of retirees called this column to complain that they got less than they had expected. In order to get the full COLA you must have been retired by March 1982. If you retired later than that you get only a pro-rated share of the COLA.
Public Employes Roundtable has given its first public service award to G. Jerry Shaw. PER was founded a year ago to bolster the image of government employes at the federal, state and local level. It has run an aggressive lobbying and advertising campaign designed to show that feds are doing some rather important work, and doing it well.
Shaw helped set up PER and also the highly effective Senior Executive Association. SEA managed to win White House support for the long-overdue raise that top government career and political appointees got last January.
Jobs: Treasury's Bureau of Government Financial Operations wants a Grade 5/7 accountant; a GS 12 ADP contract specialist and GS 3 clerk-typists. Status or rating notice required. Call Wanda Robinson at 566-8301.