Washington, DC–The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee today voted to report a reconciliation bill that saves more then $5 billion over the next five years. Chairman Thompson stated, “On balance, I believe this is a responsible bill. It spreads the burden equitably among all current federal employees. At the same time, we have protected federal employees and retirees from a major cost increase in health premiums.”
A large portion of the savings, $2.933 billion, is derived from increased agency contributions to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRS). An additional $1.829 billion is achieved through increased employee contributions to CSRS and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
In addition to the budget savings, the bill contains an important policy change in calculating the government’s share of Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) premiums. Without the change, federal employees and retirees would have faced an average increase of $276 a year.
Also included in the bill was a repeal of transition payments to the Postal Service for workers compensation incurred prior to 1970, saving $165 million over five years; as well as asset sales estimated to bring in $540 million.
Chairman Thompson emphasized,”The goal of today’s package is to spread the burden of the changes in as fair a manner as possible.”