Congress took time away from its late-year budget battles on Wednesday to clear two bills tweaking federal employee benefits.

The Senate passed a bill that would affect Thrift Savings Plan investments for employees hired after a future date.

Since 2010, newly hired employees have been automatically enrolled in the 401(k)-style program with a default personal investment of 3 percent of salary. The investments, along with government contributions, go by default into a fund consisting of government securities called the G fund, the most conservative of the TSP’s investment options. While those individuals can increase or decrease their investments or steer them to another fund at any time, in practice many of them stick with the G fund out of inertia, the TSP has said.

The bill would change the default fund to one of the TSP’s five lifecycle funds, called L funds, according to the person’s age. Those funds mix investments in the TSP’s stock, bond and securities funds, with the longer-term L funds more heavily weighted toward stocks.

Both the House and Senate previously passed the change but their bills differed slightly, requiring another vote.

“We are very pleased the Smart Savings Plan was approved by Congress,” TSP spokeswoman Kim Weaver said in an e-mail, adding that the bill “will help future federal employees make appropriate investment choices in the TSP by defaulting new participants into the age-appropriate L fund.”

The change in the default fund will apply only for those hired after the TSP issues needed rules, which it projects will be final by next October.

The House meanwhile passed a Senate-approved bill changing overtime practices for Border Patrol agents, who like many other federal law enforcement officers are eligible for “administratively uncontrollable” overtime pay. That is additional pay for time officers remain at work beyond normally scheduled hours when, in their judgment, the demands of the job require it.

Audits have questioned some use of that pay, which can be worth up to 25 percent of salary.

Under the bill, agents would chose to work 80, 90 or 100 hours biweekly, with a 12.5 percent salary boost for working 90 hours and a 25 percent boost for working 100 hours. Time worked beyond scheduled hours would be reimbursed as compensatory time off, which could not be converted to cash.

The bill requires, at least for an initial time, that if at least 90 percent of agents do not choose to work 90- or 100-hour schedules, the agency could assign it.

The changes also would be effective after implementing rules are issued, in this case by the Office of Personnel Management.