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<< Older News  |  September 26, 2021

News

All News > Federal Government Plans

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The Impact of Public Pension Deficits on Households' Investment and Economic Activity
Jinyuan Zhang, via SSRN Link to more items from this source
Sept. 13, 2021

"Comparing households residing on opposing sides of states' borders ... households hold 0.70 dollars more in deposits and 0.35 dollars less in stocks for each additional dollar of pension deficit.... [H]ouseholds respond consistently when states reduce pension deficits; they shift savings from deposits to stocks."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Funding of DB Plans

U.S. Treasury Suspends Government Retirement, Health Fund Payments as Debt Limit Resets
Reuters Link to more items from this source
Aug. 3, 2021

"In a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders, [Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen] said she was suspending investments in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund that are not immediately required to pay beneficiaries."

Tags: Federal Government Plans

Federal Workers to Gain Access to ESG in Retirement Portfolios
Roll Call Link to more items from this source
July 15, 2021

"The Thrift Savings Plan, a $762 billion defined contribution plan akin to a 401(k) for most federal government workers, will become the latest and the largest retirement plan to offer participants ESG investment options. By next summer, the plan's 6.3 million participants ... will gain access to a mutual fund window in which they can designate portions of their accounts to any of more than 5,000 funds, including some that consider ESG factors[.]"

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

Paid Family Leave Deserves a Debate, Not Histrionics
Tony Reardon, in Government Executive Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
July 15, 2021

"In what should have been a measured, thoughtful policy debate about paid family leave for federal employees, a recent congressional hearing instead devolved into scurrilous attacks on the integrity and value of frontline federal workers around the country."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Federal Government Plans

Proposal Would Allow Former Temporary Federal Employees to Make Catch-Up Pension Contributions
Government Executive Link to more items from this source
July 6, 2021

"[T]he Federal Retirement Fairness Act (HR 4268), which would allow employees enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System who initially entered government as a temporary worker the ability to make catch-up retirement contributions to cover for the years when they were temps and unable to contribute to their retirement accounts."

Tags: Federal Government Plans

Republicans Ask Federal Retirement Plan for Details on BlackRock, State Street's Votes
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required Link to more items from this source
July 1, 2021

"Sens. Pat Toomey (R. Pa.) and Ron Johnson (R. Wis.) asked the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees the government's $760 billion Thrift Savings Plan, to detail how [BlackRock Inc. and State Street Global Advisors] cast proxy votes over everything from who sits on corporate boards to executive pay and priorities at companies. They have also requested past communications with the firms and other information to determine whether the asset managers voted in ways that violated their responsibilities to those in the savings plan."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

GAO Report on Retirement Savings: Federal Workers' Portfolios Should Be Evaluated for Possible Financial Risks Related to Climate Change
U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO] Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2021

"This report examines [1] what is known about retirement plans' exposure to climate change-related investment risks, [2] what comparable retirement plans in other countries have done to address risks from climate change and how they communicate this information to the public, and [3] what steps FRTIB has taken to address investment risks from climate change." [GAO-21-327, published May 25, 2021, released Jun. 24, 2021]

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Editor's Pick The Effect of the Employer Match and Defaults on Federal Workers’ Savings Behavior in the Thrift Savings Plan
Congressional Budget Office [CBO] Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2021

"The effects of an employer match, automatic enrollment, and other defaults on employees' savings behavior have been studied extensively. However, most of the previous literature has examined such changes in defined contribution plans in the private sector ... [This study] uses two sources of exogenous variation stemming from policy changes to the retirement benefits of federal workers to estimate the effects of matching and defaults on their savings behavior." [37 presentation slides, follow-up to CBO Working Paper 2019-06.]

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Federal Government Plans

Bipartisan Bill Would Extend Paid Parental Leave to Military Troops
Government Executive Link to more items from this source
May 17, 2021

"[The Servicemember Parental Leave Equity Act (HR 3122)] would provide service members with 12 weeks of paid parental leave per year and would extend the benefit to scenarios involving miscarriages and stillbirths."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Federal Government Plans

Bill to Expand Paid Family Leave Benefits for Federal Employees Introduced in Senate
Government Executive Link to more items from this source
Apr. 20, 2021

"A group of four Democratic senators last week introduced legislation to provide federal employees with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave per year to handle illnesses and other circumstances not covered in paid parental leave benefits passed into law in 2019. The new legislation mirrors a bill already under consideration in the House."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Federal Government Plans

Rep. Neal Reintroduces Legislation to Modify Social Security WEP Provision, Improve Public Employees' Retirement Security
Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives Link to more items from this source
Apr. 2, 2021

"The legislation establishes a ... formula that will pay Social Security benefits in proportion to the share of a worker's earnings that were covered for Social Security purposes. This provision is coupled with a benefit guarantee ensuring no benefit cuts relative to current law for all current and future retirees."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Policy  •  Social Security  •  State and Local Government Plans

CRS Report: Railroad Retirement Board -- Retirement, Survivor, Disability, Unemployment, and Sickness Benefits (PDF)
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2021

18 pages. "During FY2019, the RRB paid $13.0 billion in retirement, disability,and survivor benefits to approximately 535,000 beneficiaries. Of those benefit payments, 61.5% was paid to retired workers, 6.9% to disabled workers, 14.6% to spouses, and 16.2% to survivors." [RS22350, updated Mar. 31, 2021]

Tags: Federal Government Plans

Text of OPM Proposed Regs: Representative Payees Under the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees' Retirement System
U.S. Office of Personnel Management [OPM] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Mar. 8, 2021

"OPM is promulgating the proposed regulations to fully implement and administer the representative payee program for CSRS and FERS. The regulations are required to prevent misuse and fraud by representative payees."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration

CRS Report: Military Retirement -- Background and Recent Developments
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
Feb. 17, 2021

26 pages. "In FY2019, approximately $60.5 billion was paid to 2.3 million military retirees and survivors. Given the size of the program, some have viewed military retirement as a place where substantial budgetary savings could be made." [RL34751, updated Feb. 16, 2021]

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Military-Related Benefits, USERRA

How Fares the World's Largest 401(k) Plan?
John Rekenthaler in Morningstar; free registration required Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Feb. 16, 2021

"During TSP's history (the plan was founded in 1986), the investment markets have been extraordinarily generous.... If the board is to be criticized for anything, it is that one third of TSP assets rest in the short-government fund, its equivalent of a cash account."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

House COVID Relief Bill Includes 15 Weeks of Paid Leave for Federal Parents, Caregivers
Government Executive Link to more items from this source
Feb. 11, 2021

"[The] bill would dramatically expand federal employees' access to paid leave needed in connection with the pandemic, offering up to 600 hours of time off for those who are unable to work due to COVID-19 symptoms or self-isolation orders and those who need to care for a child whose school or daycare center is closed or relying on virtual learning."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Federal Government Plans

Text of Supreme Court Opinion: Railroad Retirement Board's Refusal to Reopen a Prior Benefits Determination Is Subject to Judicial Review (PDF)
Supreme Court of the United States Link to more items from this source
Feb. 3, 2021

21 pages. "The Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 ... establishes a system of disability, retirement, and survivor benefits for railroad employees [which] is administered by the U. S. Railroad Retirement Board (Board). The Board denied benefits to petitioner Manfredo M. Salinas, a former railroad employee, when he applied in 2006, but it later granted him benefits when he reapplied in 2013. Salinas then requested that the Board reopen its decision to deny his 2006 application, but the Board declined. This case asks whether the Board's refusal to reopen the prior denial of benefits is subject to judicial review. The Court holds that it is." [Salinas v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, No. 19-199 (S. Ct. Feb. 3, 2021)]

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Billions Flow Out of TSP Due to COVID
Government Executive Link to more items from this source
Jan. 28, 2021

"[N]early $3 billion exited the Thrift Savings Plan this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.... TSP participants took out 3,043 CARES Act loans over the normal $50,000 cap, for a total of $229 million. And 119,720 participants withdrew money using the CARES Act flexibilities, totaling $2.9 billion. Despite these figures, assets in the TSP grew in 2021."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Investments

2020 Federal Retirement Plan Participant Satisfaction Survey (PDF)
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board [FRTIB] Link to more items from this source
Dec. 21, 2020

53 pages. "87% of TSP participants are satisfied (51%) or extremely satisfied (36%) with the TSP Overall.... Auto-enrolled participants are less satisfied overall with the TSP than are those who are not part of the auto-enroll program ... Participants' tenure, TSP balance and salary play a role in driving overall satisfaction with the TSP ... Seven of eight participants would be at least somewhat likely to recommend TSP."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design

Protecting Your TSP Investments After Retirement
Federal News Radio Link to more items from this source
Dec. 15, 2020

"When they leave federal government more than half of feds take some or all of their money out of the Thrift Savings Plan. Many think outside IRAs offer them more investment and withdrawal options and active advice they can't get from the TSP -- which they do. The question is: Is that a good thing?"

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design

Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Railroad Retirement Board for Fiscal Year 2020 (PDF)
Office of Inspector General, U.S. Railroad Retirement Board Link to more items from this source
Dec. 8, 2020

31 pages. "This year's management challenges are: [1] Improve Agency disability program integrity; [2] Improve information technology security and complete system modernization; [3] Improve management of Railroad Medicare; [4] Improve payment accuracy and transparency; [5] Financial management and reporting issues; [6] Compliance concerns identified."

Tags: Federal Government Plans

Text of FRTIB Final Rule: Methods of Withdrawing Funds from the Thrift Savings Plan
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board [FRTIB)] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Nov. 25, 2020

10 pages. "Many separated TSP participants who are required to receive RMDs elect to receive life-expectancy-based installment payments as a way to ensure they satisfy this requirement. The existing restrictions on life-expectancy-based installment payments put these participants in an untenable situation -- they must either continue to receive payments and forego the chance to let their account balances recover, or stop their payments and forego the ability to restart life-expectancy-based payments in the future.... [E]ffective January 1, 2021 ... the FRTIB is removing the restrictions on life-expectancy-based installment payments ... [which will allow] TSP participants who are eligible for installment payments to elect to receive payments based on life expectancy whether or not they previously started and then stopped installment payments.... This new withdrawal election is subject to the spousal consent rules set forth [by statute]."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

New TSP Recordkeeper Will Ease Management of Retirement Savings, and More
Government Executive Link to more items from this source
Nov. 19, 2020

"[T]he Thrift Savings Plan has awarded a new recordkeeping services contract to Accenture Federal Services ... Following an 18-month transition period to the new vendor, ... participants can expect to see a variety of new features that will make managing their accounts easier.... New features will include a mutual fund window, e-signature capabilities and a mobile app, which is set to be available in mid-2022."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Information for Employees

TSP Catch-Up Contribution Change Coming Soon
Government Executive Link to more items from this source
Oct. 29, 2020

"Beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, ... [federal] employees eligible for catch-up contributions can set one contribution rate, and when they hit the annual limit, the TSP will automatically start funneling the rest of their contributions for the year into catch-up contributions."

Tags: Federal Government Plans

A Review of CBO's Estimate of Spending from the Department of Defense Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund
Congressional Budget Office [CBO] Link to more items from this source
Oct. 16, 2020

"In a cost estimate prepared in October 2000, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that spending for new health care benefits for military retirees would total about $57 billion over the 2003-2010 period; actual costs over that period were about $55 billion."

Tags: Federal Government Plans  •  Health Plan Costs


<< Older News  |  September 26, 2021

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