Federal worker Pensions emerge as Target in Debt-Reduction talksSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Mon, 05/16/2011 - 08:05
The generous pension system enjoyed by millions of federal workers from clerks to senators and judges has emerged as a key target in negotiations between Vice President Biden and congressional leaders looking to restrain the growing national debt.
Republicans have proposed saving more than $120 billion over the next decade by requiring the civilian workforce to contribute more toward retirement — a plan that would effectively impose an immediate 5 percent pay cut on more than 2 million federal employees. President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission has also endorsed the idea, calling the federal system “out of line” with the private sector.
Now, administration officials have expressed interest in raising the amount that employees contribute to their pensions — though probably not as high as the GOP proposal, definitely not as fast and possibly not for all workers, according to people in both parties familiar with the discussions.