House Panel Approves Bill To Cut Postal, Federal Pensions
02/09/2012 - A House committee approved legislation on Feb. 7 that would cut pensions for postal and federal employees, while increasing the contributions the workers must make toward their retirement. The party-line vote was 22-16, with Republicans voting in favor of the retirement cuts and Democrats voting against.
“Despite its name, the ‘Securing Annuities for Federal Employees Act’ would cut retirement benefits for postal and federal workers and make them pay more for less,” said Legislative Director Myke Reid. “This bill would amount to a pay cut for our members.”“This bill is an outrageous attack on postal and federal employees,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “Some politicians are quick to cut benefits for middle-class workers, but they fight to the death to protect tax breaks for the super-rich.”
The legislation (H.R. 3813) was shepherded through the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by a pair of politicians who are well-known opponents of postal workers: Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL). The two are co-sponsors of H.R. 2309, a bill that would destroy the Postal Service as we know it.
Increases Costs, Cuts Benefits
H.R. 3813 would increase the amount postal and federal employees contribute to their retirement by 1.5 percent, with the increase phased in over three years, beginning in 2013.
Employees with less than five years of service would face an increase of 3.2 percent. (Employees in the Federal Employee Retirement System [FERS] currently pay 0.8 percent of salary into the pension fund. Employees enrolled in the Civil Service Retirement System [CSRS] currently pay 7 percent to their retirement system.)
It also would reduce pensions for employees with less than five years of service by calculating annuities based on the average of employees’ high-five salary years instead of their high-three years, which is the current method. In addition, their pensions would be calculated at a lower rate of 0.7 percent per year, down from 1 percent.
Contract Now Available
The official 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the USPS and the APWU is being printed and will be ready for shipping shortly, Director of Industrial Relations Mike Morris has announced.
In the meantime, copies can be viewed and downloaded from the APWU Web site. Orders for printed copies will be accepted online at the APWU Store, by phone at 800-789-0072, or by mailing an order form to APWU Store, PO Box 221494, Chantilly VA 20153.
The contract will be available in two formats: The spiral bound edition may be purchased for $4 per copy, and a traditional paperback version may be purchased for $3 per copy.