Federal employees would pay significantly more into their retirement programs under a bill approved today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Committee’s proposal (adopted by a 19-15 vote) would raise the pension contribution to 5.8 percent over five years from 0.8 percent for employees covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).  For Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees, the contribution would increase from the current 7 percent to 12 percent by 2017.  Under the committee plan, the yearly changes would be: 1.5 percent in 2013, 0.5 percent in 2014, and one percent each year from 2015 to 2017.

New federal workers starting in 2013 or later would pay the 5.8 percent contribution when they begin employment.

Members of Congress and their staffs would also experience increases in their pension contributions under the committee plan.  Contributions for members and staff covered under CSRS and members under FERS would rise to 8.5 percent.  Contributions by congressional staff under FERS would increase to 7.5 percent.

The committee bill would also permit retiring employees to put the value of unused annual leave into their Thrift Savings Plan account.  This provision was offered as an amendment to the bill by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

The committee’s action was taken to meet the funding levels called for in the House FY2013 Budget Resolution.  The committee estimates its plan to raise federal employee retirement contributions would save $83 billion over 10 years.