A congressman from Utah is setting his sight firmly on federal employees’ retirement. Speaking to reporters on January 9, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he wants to do away with the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuity and keep only the 401K-style benefit, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), for new and recent hires.
This means federal employees will lose an important element of their compensation. They would no longer be eligible for any defined benefit annuity at all. The pension that Chaffetz would eliminate produces modest but important benefits for federal retirees.
Current FERS retirees receive an average of under $20,000 per year from this benefit. Chaffetz seems to take joy from hurting government workers, including those in his district. Do you think he remembers that nearly a third of federal employees are also veterans?
If he carries out his promises, he will take away employees' ability to retire with dignity and provide for their families.
He’s also telling a new generation of Americans to take their talents elsewhere. As our government is fighting a cyberwarfare, struggling to take care of veterans returning from wars, and finding cures for deadly diseases, we need talented people to join the government now more than ever.
It’s clear the Chaffetz proposal, not VA nurses or CDC scientists, is what’s wrong with the government.
A Brief History of Rep. Chaffetz ‘s Proposals For Federal Employees:
- A congressional panel he chairs passed a bill allowing new federal employees to be fired for any reason for the first two years of their employment.
- He voted for a bill that extended the federal employee pay freeze and cut agency budgets to the point of furloughs and hiring freezes.
- He voted to continue the government shutdown which began in October 2013.
- He voted for the Ryan Budget, a proposal that would require federal employees to pay 5.5% of their salary more to their pension than now, which is the same as a 5.5% pay cut.
- He sponsored a bill that would require federal agencies to fire tax-delinquent federal employees without knowing their circumstances.