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Could more federal employees get overtime under a new policy rule?

President Obama has announced a proposed rule that would increase the threshold for salaried workers eligible to receive overtime pay from the current standard of $455 a week to $970 a week, or approximately $50,440 a year. The Department of Labor is finishing the first draft of the proposed rule, which is expected to be on the Federal Register for comment sooner than later. The rule would also peg the threshold to consumer indexes to keep up with inflation. Federal employees are now wondering if they would be included...

Reader Question: What happens if I become disabled while working as a federal employee?

Q: I'm currently employed by a federal agency, but I've had a few troublesome health problems in the last year. I'm worried I will become disabled before I reach retirement age. What will happen to me and my finances? Do I need a Power of Attorney? A: If you become mentally or physically unable to handle your own money, a family member or someone helping you should contact OPM as soon as possible. When your family member or friends contact OPM, they will receive full instructions on what to do to take care of your...

Retirement Contributions Overpaid and Require Repayment

Federal employees hired in 2014 are subject to paying higher contributions into the FERS system, but many have not been paying at the higher rate because payroll processing systems could not account for the change. This means these new employees have been overpaid and will owe the excess as a debt to the government. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, which handles payroll of some 1.2 million non-postal federal employees in agencies like the DoD, VA, HHS, Energy, EPA and several smaller agencies, has said it will...

Newly Hired Federal Employees Must Contribute More to Retirement

Congress finally came together on a budget deal without resorting to shutdown threats again. Federal retirement benefits have increased by 1.5 percent for those retired under CSRS and those under FERS who are eligible for COLAS. The increase also applies to Social Security, military retirement and survivor benefits. However, the budget deal also imposed a different kind of increase. Starting January 1, new federal employees' mandatory retirement contributions have risen an additional 1.3 percent of salary—bringing the total...

2014 Federal Handbooks Now Available

ARLINGTON, VA - Federal Handbooks has released their FREE 2014 handbooks for federal employees. These handbooks, written specifically for federal agency employees, include a variety of information about pay, benefits, education, travel, healthcare and retirement. Download any of the handbooks for FREE or purchase a printed copy. Don't forget to tell all of your federal colleagues about these free handbooks too! 2014 Federal Handbooks - Now Available - 2014 FEDERAL RETIREMENT HANDBOOK - 2014 FEDERAL HEALTH BENEFITS...

Federal Employees Might Have to Repay Unemployment Benefits Used During Shutdown

The Office of Personnel Management released its guidelines for federal employees furloughed during the government shutdown late last week. The guidelines stipulate that because Congress has agreed to give furloughed workers back-pay for their forced time off, employees might have to repay any state unemployment benefits received during that time. Agencies must check to see whether any of their staff filed unemployment claims while out of work. If so, the agency must inform the state what amount of back-pay the employee(s)...

Irony: OPM Lists Contacts For Help While They Are Out On Furlough

On Friday, October 11, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) updated its Furlough Guidance website with new information dated October 4, 8, 9 and 11. The website offers Guidance for Shutdown Furloughs (October 11, 2013) and a Table of Recent Changes. The page also houses "Information on Paychecks" for the September 22 through October 5, 2013 Pay Period which consists of a series of FAQs on payroll. Ironically, OPM also lists a series of contacts, but does note that "these contacts...

How Is the Shutdown Affecting You?

We are wrapping up Day 3 of the federal government shutdown. Several pundits didn't think a shutdown would happen, or that it would be over in 48 hours. Some are expecting a deal on Friday. What we want to know is how it has affected you so far? Are you a furloughed employee or contractor? Do you have enough money put aside to deal with the loss of pay, even if it's just for a few days? Tell us in the comments, as well as your predictions for how or when the shutdown will end.    

Government Shutdowns Affect Pay Differently

Another government shutdown is being discussed in Washington, and that always creates confusion over how it would affect the paychecks of government employees, including active duty military. So what exactly does the government have to pay and to whom? Military personnel Active duty personnel are still required to report for duty, but their scheduled payments would be halted or staggered, at least temporarily. Once legislation is passed to get the government moving again, military members would be compensated for duty...

Five percent of federal workforce furloughed Friday as agencies shut down

This Friday, roughly 117,000 federal employees will be on leave without pay in the first major round of sequester-driven furloughs. This amounts to more than 5 percent of the entire federal workforce. The IRS, EPA, OMB, and HUD— which have a combined staff of about 116,600 — closed down entirely last Friday to help meet their mandated budget cuts. All IRS offices, including its call centers and taxpayer assistance centers across the country, will be closed. The IRS will also shut down and furlough employees...

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