House Republicans Release Framework to cut Fed Worker pay Raises, Pensions

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The Republican Study Committee (RSC), a caucus of sitting House conservatives, released a framework Feb. 6 of policy solutions for a smaller government that would slash automatic Federal pay raises, eliminate the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), and reduce paid leave benefits.

“It [the current Federal pay and benefits structure] does not adequately incentivize productive behavior, overcompensates many employees at the cost of undercompensating others, and relies on hidden and overgenerous benefits. Unfortunately, this approach only tends to fuel the poor performance of Federal workers and overall operation of the Federal government,” the report states.

The caucus wants to “rightsize” the Federal pay scale and reform the bonus system to reward employees based on qualifications and merit alone. The annual cost of living adjustment, RSC says, rewards employees for not getting fired instead of for the quality of their work.

RSC also advocates for a 401K-style Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) as the sole retirement plan to replace FERS. TSP would save the taxpayer money, provide a higher contribution threshold for employees, and create “a more transparent view of their personal responsibility in saving for retirement.”

To achieve parity with the private sector, House Republicans in RSC want to reduce annual paid leave for Federal employees. In the private sector, employees receive an average of 29 days of paid leave, compared to average of 43 days for Federal employees. Making parental leave count against existing paid leave days and reducing the amount of paid leave days total would be more in line with the private employment market, the report states.

“The Federal government is too large; it does too many things; and what it does, it usually does not do very well,” RSC Chairman Rep. Mike John, R-La., said. “Everyone in Congress should agree that the egregious items we’ve identified in this report – including millions of dollars in payments to the deceased, thousands of unused office buildings, and a Federal government that has literally lost count of the number of programs it runs – are unacceptable.”

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