News >> Browse Articles >> Pay & Benefits


Congress Puts NSPS Pay-Scale on Life Support: FERS flu might be cured

Congress Puts NSPS Pay-Scale on Life Support: FERS flu might be cured

Congress Puts NSPS on life support

Dorothy Ramienski | Internet Editor | FederalNewsRadio

October 07, 2009

“It’s a done deal,” says Senior Correspondent Mike Causey when he joined the Federal Drive. It is a trifecta win for all federal employees because NSPS is going to be phased out, the FERS Flu is going to be cured, and retired federal employees are going to be allowed to return to work without harming their annuities.

The Defense Authorization Bill has passed the Conference Committee and repeals the authority for the National Security Personnel System.

It requires all NSPS employees to be transitioned back to their old personnel systems.

“The conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 reflects almost all of the decisions of the Secretary of Defense and the President to terminate troubled programs, delay programs for which requirements are not yet defined, and reorient programs and systems to deal with today’s threats and apply the lessons gained from more than seven years of war. This is a solid bipartisan bill that supports the men and women of the armed forces, both active and reserve, and their families, and provides them with the pay, benefits, equipment, and training that they need. The enactment of this conference report will send an important message to our troops that we, as a Nation, stand behind them and appreciate their service,” said Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in a press release.

Poll: Should the NSPS payscale be eliminated?

Poll: Should the NSPS payscale be eliminated?

[For a complete list of all provisions contained in the bill, click on the Senate Armed Services link below this story.]

In a press release, Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) said, “Government agencies, including the Defense Department, will have the tools they need to encourage highly talented individuals to return to government service, and to allow senior civil servants to pass along experience as they phase out of their careers. The bill also addresses the related problems of absenteeism and lost productivity in federal agencies that result from the current ‘use it or lose it’ approach to sick leave.”

That ‘use it or lose it approach’ refers to the so-called FERS flu, which the bill also tackles.

If passed, members of the Federal Employee Retirement System would have their sick leave credited to them when they retire. The change will affect about eighty percent of the federal workforce, says Senior Correspondent Mike Causey, and the Unions deserve a lot of the credit for getting these changes done.

Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.) gave the Daily Debrief an update on what will happen with FERS.

“Within four years, it will be identical to the CSRS system. What was happening was that people under the FERS retirement system . . . were simply not coming to work in the last few weeks before retirement. That’s just when we needed them to be training their replacements, and, of course, they’re most knowledgeable and skilled at that point. They have the maximum amount of experience, and we want them there for those last few weeks — and, of course, it wasn’t fair. Both retirement systems, we argued, should be identical and so now, within four years, they will be. It has to be phased in over four years because of the cost.”

Moran also told Federal News Radio that he thinks NSPS will be repealed, but didn’t want to speculate on what type of system would replace it until the bill was signed.

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley said, “NTEU is appreciative of the hard work of so many congressional supporters in addressing an issue that has great importance to all the employees in the FERS system.”

“The sensible and practical provisions, many of which were contained in the original House version of the bill, will strengthen the civil service while providing immeasurable benefits to American taxpayers. I am extremely hopeful this bill will reach the President’s desk and be signed into law in the near future,” said Federal Managers Association National President Darryl Perkinson.

The bill now heads back to the House and Senate floors for final consideration before going to the President for his signature.

On the Web:

Senate Armed Services Committee — Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2010

House Armed Services Committee — House-Senate Committee Agreement Reached On Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Authorization Bill

White House — Statement of Administration Policy, H.R. 3326 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 (pdf)

Federal Managers Association — FMA Applauds Approval of Conference Report Containing Measures Strengthening Civil Service

(Copyright 2009 by All Rights Reserved.)

Govcentral School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use Govcentral's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.