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Rep. Ross confirms higher pension, health care payments on the table

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Rep. Dennis Ross (photo by Blair Tomlinson)It’s looking increasingly likely that a deficit reduction deal is going to hit future feds particularly hard, as we reported last week. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., today confirmed that not only are lawmakers seriously considering raising the amount federal employees contribute toward their pensions, but the increase would be a lot higher for new employees than for current employees.

Ross told me that he’s not personally involved in the negotiations and couldn’t say how big the increases might be. (Unions have been told that current employees’ contributions — to both the Federal Employees Retirement System and the Civil Service Retirement System — would go up by either 0.4 or 0.5 percentage points per year for three years once the pay freeze ends, and that future employees’ FERS contributions would be either 5.5 percent or 6 percent. FERS contributions are now 0.8 percent.)

“For those existing employees, it will not be as significant as what it will be for new employees,” Ross said. “There’s no question that that’s going to be considered. To what extent, I don’t know.”

Ross said the deficit reduction deal may also require federal employees to pay more toward their health insurance.

But just how deep will the cuts to federal employees’ pay and benefits go? “I think that’s probably some of the fine print that’s going to be decided after an overall deal is made, as to the amount of [spending] cuts,” Ross said. “We’ll probably know more, maybe before the weekend.”

Although negotiations now appear in disarray, Ross is confident that lawmakers and the White House will find some way to cut the deficit and raise the debt ceiling. “There’ll be a deal struck,” Ross said. “It’s just a matter of when.”

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  1. craig rollins Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Maybe I’m a dummy, and maybe all that college tuition was wasted, but I don’t see how nailing federal workers will help ameliorate a fourteen trillion dollar national debt, especially when the government shows no sign of cutting spending in other areas.

  2. Mike Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 10:06 am

    After all the Federal Employee bashing is complete, all the cuts have occurred, benefits have been slashed, and the economy rebounds, the only people who will be willing to work for the government will be those incapable of finding another job, and with them they will see what service they get. Remember the old saying You Get What You Pay For-Then and only then will the publice realize that we weren’t the problem, the budget problems were caused by politicians handing out money to special interests in order to continue to ensure re election. It’s funny that they keep bashing federal employees as if they were not one—-reform congress!!! Start with TERM LIMITS

  3. Jim Coffey Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 10:06 am

    You are no dummy. It won’t be a drop in the bucket as long as the wackos are handing out money to those that don’t feel like working. That’s the liberal mantra – take from those who work and give it to those who just aren’t in the mood.

    Odd how people pick on the federal workforce when they are having hard times themselves…where were they when for 10 years they were making hay and we couldn’t even contribute the full IRS limit to our TSP like they could?

  4. Federal Employee Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 10:44 am

    On how is this going to lower the debt? How does paying more towards your retirement system increase benefits, support budget, or? I am confused. Why are they, we, us using retirement contributions to pay past bills? Do I recall social security IOUs? OOPS.

  5. Linda Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I guess the Federal Employees will just have to get together and not vote for anyone congress person who votes for reducing benefits. The wars and Medicare/Social Security/Welfare are the biggest dollars and where cuts need to be made……..but who wants to anger that large a block of voters?

  6. stuosb Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    why dosen’t congress and politicians start looking at cutting their pay,medical,vacation and sick leave before they start cutting all the middle class and elderly’s benefits?

  7. Brenda Says:
    July 29th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Because we work for the Government we are made to be the example. I work hard in all kinds of weather, not at a desk, carrying heavy loads to get the jobs completed that the Government needs. I have been injured on the job doing their work. I make less money than civilian workers and the politicians are saying we can change the outcome of the dficit by hammering on the Government workers. I don’t think so.
    So if I understand everything right, I am to be punished on my retirement, on my cost of living and also on getting hurt while doing the job I was hired for.
    If this happened in outside employment of the Government, I could become a millioniar.
    Cut the big wigs payment and see how much really could go to the deficit.
    Go out into the world and just grab someone and tell them your are going to reduce their pension contribution or no cost of living for them and since they got hurt you will only pay them 70% of their pay for the rest of their lives.
    Want to see another civil war this would cause it. But the Government workers have to sit and take it because we are being made an example. This is really going to hurt the lower on the totem pole workers, the GS 6 and below who make $30,000 to $40,000 per year but does not seem to bother the policiatians because they will still recieve their thousands per month to pay their bills.

  8. Upset Federal employee Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I have no college education, I served my country for four years in the Navy and have been a federal empoyee for 23 years. I have a very simple solution to the debt ceiling crisis.
    Bring home all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and sailors from overseas.
    Close our borders, stop all foreign aid. Fix the economy, fix the government, by that I mean term limits for ALL elected officials. Balance our own budget, get our people back to work then we can go back out and be the worlds police force.