Retirement train wreck timing

If you live and work in Washington long enough a certain amount of paranoia becomes the norm. Not to the point where you think you need a food-taster, but you do become more suspicious.

You stop taking people’s — especially politicians’, lawyers’ and talking heads’ — statements, actions and facts. You run them through your own filter and then figure out what they “really” meant and said, not what they said they said.

Take the federal retirement program.

It is better than Social Security. It is better than almost anything in the private sector, and it has been around in modified form for a long, long time.

Politicians have been after it, although they are covered by an enhanced version of it, for decades. And that pressure has increased with the advent of the Trump administration.

The latest proposal to reform and/or slash the dominant Federal Employees Retirement System plan, which covers most working federal and postal workers, came this week. The Office of Personnel Management announced a four-point White House plan to raise employee contributions, eliminate future cost of living adjustments for retirees, drop a valuable bridge payment workers get if they retire — or are forced to retire — before age 62 and, finally, cut take-home pay by 6 percent by raising most employee contributions to the FERS fund by one percent each year for six years.

That the four-point attack was launched is no surprise. The proposed reforms/cuts have been around for decades.

That it was launched this week — Public Service Recognition Week — may have been coincidence. The American Federation of Government Employees got the OPM paper and made it public. Or was it an intentional leak? Or maybe a deliberate but subtle kick in the slats to federal workers and their unions during the one week each year when they blow, modestly, their own horns?

This is Washington, where the obvious is often cover for something entirely different. Run the timing issue through your job-paranoia filter and see what you get.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

 Some nursing homes in Germany erected fake bus stops outside their facilities on roads without traffic to prevent dementia and Alzheimers patients from accidentally wandering away.
Source: New Yorker

Related Stories

    Trump administration sees retirement proposals as a ‘downpayment’ for the future, not punishment

    Read more
    Federal News Radio/Amelia Brust

    Retirement claims rise in April while backlog drops, OPM reports

    Read more
    Getty Images/iStockphoto/HUNG KUO CHUNretirement

    OPM submits 4 familiar retirement proposals to the House for consideration

    Read more

Comments

Your Turn with Mike Causey

WEDNESDAYS at 10 A.M.

Learn about everything from pay, benefits and retirement, to buyouts, COLAs and pay freezes. Call the show live Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. at 202-465-3080 with your questions. Dial 605-562-0264 to listen live from any phone. Follow Mike on Twitter and send him an email with your questions and comments. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Podcast One.

THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN TICKER

Nov 26, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.2856 -0.111 4.85%
L 2025 12.0665 -0.1154 8.89%
L 2030 42.7291 -0.5654 11.31%
L 2035 12.8482 -0.1867 12.31%
L 2040 48.6780 -0.7731 13.33%
L 2045 13.3482 -0.2272 14.19%
L 2050 29.2724 -0.5333 15.08%
L 2055 14.4363 -0.3307 18.41%
L 2060 14.4363 -0.3306 18.41%
L 2065 14.4362 -0.3305 18.41%
G Fund 16.7127 0.0015 1.12%
F Fund 20.9220 0.1624 -1.44%
C Fund 69.2640 -1.6088 24.02%
S Fund 84.8572 -2.1223 17.73%
I Fund 37.8901 -0.8469 11.23%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at tsp.gov
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.