The House and Senate are scheduled to vote this week on a compromise three-year budget proposal that protects federal and military pensions from inflation; authorizes a 3 percent white-collar federal pay raise in January 1988, 1989 and 1990, and protects the right of U.S. retirees to take lump-sum pension payments.
Under the congressional timetable, which is subject to change, the House is due to take up the budget proposal today and the Senate has tentatively agreed to take it up tomorrow.
The White House has threatened to veto the spending package worked up by the Democratic leadership because it links Defense Department budget increases to a tax increase. The budget package shows that Congress opposes pay freezes for civil servants, any reduction in cost-of-living raises for retirees, and rejects an administration proposal to drop the lump-sum pension benefit option, which has been available only since June 1986. It gives federal workers two pension options when they retire:They can take a straight annuity based on their length of service and their salary. They can elect an "alternate" annuity, and receive a lump-sum payment equal to all the money they paid into the pension fund while they were working. That lump-sum check is equal to about 7 percent of the employe's total career salary, and for longtime, highly paid workers, it can be as much as $70,000. Persons who take the lump-sum payment (which is partially taxable) have their monthly pensions reduced because their annuity is then based on only the money the government contributed to their pension plan.
Many retirees find the lump-sum option attractive even though most of the payment (the amount considered to have come from the government contribution) is taxable, and even though it reduces their lifetime pension payments.
In addition, as reported here last week, the new tax law imposes an additional 10 percent tax on the lump-sum payments of many federal workers who retire before age 55, as it does for private-sector workers who retire before age 59 1/2. Details will be released in a few weeks by the Internal Revenue Service.
Workers who retired since June 1986 -- when the lump-sum option became law -- are supposed to get a notice from the Office of Personnel Management advising them of the option, and telling how much their lump- sum payment is worth and how much it would reduce their monthly annuity.
Many recent retirees have delayed making a decision on the lump-sum option because they feared Congress would eliminate it retroactively. But there is no mention of ending the lump-sum option in the compromise budget. Executive Profile
Although the number of women and minorities in the elite Senior Executive Service has increased under the Reagan administration, a report in this week's Federal Times newspaper says that the special 6,000-member SES is still dominated by white males.
Currently, the newspaper says, 91.6 percent of all SES members are men and 93.6 percent are white. When the SES was created by the Carter administration, it was 94.9 percent male and 94.3 percent white. Since then, the average age of SES members has declined from 52.1 years in 1979 to 49.5 years today. Job Mart
National Institutes of Health in Bethesda has an opening for a Grade 11/12 technical publications writer (medical science). Call 496-6334.