National President Dougan Pens Letter to House Opposing Bill with Serious Implications for Federal Retirement Benefits
NFFE National President William R. Dougan penned a letter to the House of Representatives today urging members to oppose H.R. 3813, a bill that would seriously diminish the retirement security of current and future federal employees. The full text of the letter can be found below:
On behalf of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) and the 110,000 federal employees our union represents throughout the United States and abroad, I am writing to strongly oppose H.R. 3813, a bill that would require massive increases in contributions to pensions for current and future federal employees. At the same time, this bill would drastically reduce retirement benefits for current and future federal workers. This bill would make federal employees pay substantially more for a significantly smaller retirement, an unconscionable change considering the average annual pension benefit for FERS retirees, is just $12,780 per year.
Despite the best efforts of some to characterize this as a “bloated” pension, the fact is federal retirees receive a modest benefit for their service to the American people, and gutting this critical benefit will make it very difficult for federal agencies to recruit and retain the talented and skilled workforce necessary to carry out agency missions.
With regard to federal employee pensions, H.R. 3813 would:
· Require current federal employees to contribute nearly twice as much toward their retirement pensions;
· Require new federal employees to contribute five times more toward their retirement pensions;
· Significantly reduce the retirement pensions of newly-hired federal employees by nearly forty percent; and,
· Eliminate the Social Security supplement for current federal and postal employees who retire before age 62, breaking trust with the commitments already made to them.
Cuts to federal employee pensions included in H.R. 3813 are unwarranted and unfair considering the significant sacrifices that federal workers have already made to ease the burden of our national debt. Federal workers accepted a two-year pay freeze (for 2011 and 2012) which has been a great burden to federal employees and their families who are struggling just like everyone else in this tough economy. This sacrifice alone saved American taxpayers $60 billion.
Federal workers are also deeply impacted by major cuts that have been made to the federal budget – about $2 trillion over the next decade. These cuts will undoubtedly lead to downsizing at federal agencies, and will likely lead to federal employee layoffs. Targeting this group of middle class Americans again – this time to strip federal workers of their retirement security – should be unthinkable.
NFFE strongly urges you to vote “No” on H.R. 3813.
For more information, please contact NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin (202-257-0948 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
William R. Dougan