Federal Retirement Reform Act of 2009 Passes House


The House of Representatives passed HR. 1804, the Federal Retirement Reform Act of 2009, a bill that will give FERS employees credit for unused sick leave upon retiring and automatically enroll new hires in the Thrift Savings Plan.

As Vice Chairman of the Employee Thrift Advisory Council (ETAC), an advisory body to the board that oversees the TSP, NFFE National President Richard N. Brown has urged automatic enrollment of new hires for years:

“Automatic enrollment in the TSP is crucial to the future retirement security of incoming federal employees,” said Brown. “For years, new employees have been leaving free money on the table because many aren’t aware this opportunity is available to them.”

Sponsored by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the bill is essentially an amalgamation of numerous retirement policy bills that had been introduced earlier in the 111th Congress.

In addition to the sick leave benefit and automatic enrollment, the legislation also contains provisions to create a Roth Individual Retirement Account within TSP, as well as expand the authority of the TSP advisory board to protect employees’ investments. Furthermore, the legislation will allow former FERS federal employees returning from a period in the private sector to reinvest their retirement savings and receive credit for their previous time in the civil service.