FMA CALLS PRESIDENT'S FY18 BUDGET REQUEST DISASTROUS FOR FEDS - May 23, 2017
Alexandria, VA - Today, President Donald Trump formally released his Administration's fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget request. It includes enormous cuts to federal employee retirement benefits by raising employee contributions one percent a year for six years. It also eliminates cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for all FERS employees, cuts CSRS COLAs, and includes cuts of $1.9 billion in “other federal retirement changes,” reportedly including shifting the calculation of retirement benefits from the highest three years to the highest five. As expected, the budget request proposes a 1.9 percent increase to federal employee salaries in 2018. It includes $1.4 trillion in cuts to domestic agencies over ten years, and is estimated to save the government $4 billion in FY18. Federal Managers Association (FMA) National President Renee Johnson made the following comments on the Trump Administration's budget plans.
"If enacted, President Trump’s FY18 budget request represents a significant setback and ‘slap in the face’ to federal managers and all federal employees. It is duplicitous to claim a campaign promise to not touch retirements, then tout cuts to feds’ retirement as one of the top four ways to save money in this request. The massive increase to employee contributions is a broken promise and a titanic tax increase on hard working public servants.
"Federal managers and the federal workforce are a big part of what makes America great. We protect our nation's borders, care for our veterans, ensure the safety of our food, provide tax returns and social security checks, and keep our nation’s military equipped. The government must not balance the budget on the backs of federal employees. FMA vigorously opposes the call for these taxpaying Americans to contribute more towards their retirement plans and cuts to cost of living adjustments for all feds and retirees. If the changes to retirement calculations take effect, I fear we would see the oft-discussed retirement tsunami that would result in congressionally-mandated missions being unmet and services unprovided.
“Beyond hurting current and retired feds, the federal workforce is already facing momentous challenges in recruitment and retention. Broken promises and further cutting of benefits will only make the task of attracting the best and the brightest even more difficult.
“FMA welcomes and supports the Administration’s push for a 1.9 percent raise as recognition of the outstanding work performed by our federal workforce. Regrettably, this pales in comparison and is outweighed by the damaging cuts to benefits.
"The federal government should strive to be a model employer. The American public deserves a federal workforce that receives the resources it needs to provide the services our citizens count on, and this budget request, as proposed, does not deliver that. FMA urges Congress to work with the Administration to develop a spending plan that allows for a sustainable federal workforce."