Congress to federal workforce: “Get ready, cuts are coming”

Long overdue reforms to the federal government workforce is on its way.


One major plan is being readied by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Utah Republican calls it “high on our agenda.” While details remain sketchy, it would likely mean big changes to the generous retirement benefits given federal workers, mainly by looking to shift new employees from a defined benefit into a market-based 401(k).

The House budget resolution also called for an eventual phaseout of the defined benefit pension while increasing employee contributions to 6.35 percent, among other benefit changes. The House plan would have saved roughly $281 billion over 10 years, according to figures compiled by Government Executive.

Republicans would likely exempt those employees deemed essential for national security, or roughly 50 percent of the total workforce, according to some experts. Chaffetz said he’d seek to increase the number of Secret Service employees. If President-elect Donald Trump wants to institute a hiring freeze, as he has promised, he can do so via executive order or other actions. 

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