Top federal officials say it will be several weeks before the White House makes a final decision on its federal personnel package for next year.
Still to be decided:
*The amount of next year's federal pay raise (if any).
*The personnel levels of each federal agency.
*What changes the administration will ask Congress to make in the federal retirement system.
Administration insiders say the Office of Personnel Management will not make a formal recommendation for or against a pay raise next year. Each October, federal workers are supposed to get increases to help their salaries catch up with those paid by private industry.
But for the past two years, the White House has succeeded in delaying those 4 and 3 1/2 percent increases for three months.
Administration officials say there will be no federal hiring freeze next year. But they expect that many agencies will have to reduce employment via attrition, and, in some cases, through reductions in force.
The OPM is anxious to make major cost-cutting "reforms" in the current federal retirement system, and in the system Congress will set up next year to cover employes hired since last January. The president is expected to ask Congress to increase the employe contribution to the retirement fund from 7 percent of salary to at least 9 percent.
The White House would like a higher retirement age (62 or 65) written into any pension plan covering new federal hires. Whether it proposes to raise the retirement age for current employes -- something Congress would also have to approve -- has not been decided.