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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct. 15, 2012
October 15, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 14 8 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com thrift SavingsPlanSharePrices FUNDS oct. 5 oNe MoNth AGo oNe YeAr AGo G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund lifecycle Funds L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050 Register free to get rates of return and other TSP info at: www.FederalDaily.com/pages/resources/thrift-savings-plan.aspx 13.9765 13.9621 13.7628 15.9414 15.9429 15.1598 18.3644 17.6093 14.0493 23.8895 23.2640 13.4890 19.9278 18.7718 16.8677 15.6608 15.5093 14.6662 18.6659 18.2067 161416 19.3834 18.8028 16.2666 19.9931 19.3170 16.4118 11.0432 10.6223 8.8893 Federal Benefits Q&A Question: "If you are offered retirement at age 50 with 20 years of service, I understand you will get your FERS annuity (no penalty) and are not eligible for the FERS supplement until you are 56 years of age. Does this mean that if you retire prior to age 56 and are collecting your FERS annuity, that when you do turn 56 you will be offered/or can apply for the FERS supplement?" Answer: A FERS-covered employee who retires under an "early retirement"---a voluntary early retirement authority or a vol- untary separation incentive payment---at age 50 with 20 years of service will start receiving a FERS annuity supplement starting the month after becoming minimum retirement age. The FERS annuitant need not apply for the FERS annuity supplement; OPM should automatically pay the FERS annuity supplement. Readers are encouraged to ask questions related to general employee benefits---such as CSRS, FERS, the Thrift Savings Plan, tax and estate plan- ning, insurance, Social Security and Medicare---at the "Federal Benefits Q&A" at www.FederalSoup.com. tionable expenses related to the conferences, including costs of $280,698---for audiovisual services, food, beverages and other miscella- neous items---in excess of VA's contract with the Orlando World Center Marriott. Other expenses detailed in the report included $97,906 in costs associated with the purchase of "unnecessary promotional items"; $200,224 of unsupported expenses, including almost $154,000 in contractor travel paid by VA; $11,507 in "questionable miscellaneous expenses" for things such as signs, table banners, exhibit booths, janitorial services, and pocket organizers; and $49,516 in unauthorized costs associated with the production of a Gen. George S. Patton parody video. The IG determined that "at least seven employees" used their individually assigned government cards for purchases totaling at least $215,826 on both conferences. "We found employees made purchases to support both HR conferences without the required supervisory approval, while in other cases, supervisors authorized purchase card activ- ity without the required justifications," the report stated. The report also quoted Gingrich: "I signed the thing authorizing the conferences. So, I should have made sure the conferences were executed better. Now, I think people should have done more prudent work. But, it's my signature upon that page. And, I take the full responsibility." While Gingrich may have admitted responsibility, the two lawmakers nonethe- less took a tough stance in their letter to Shinseki. "We can only conclude that Mr. Gingrich's role was merely to provide the appearance of oversight, nothing more," the letter stated. "We believe that is precisely why the IG recommended the administrative action against him. With the utmost respect for Mr. Gingrich's service to the nation in uniform and in public service, we believe the appro- priate administrative action is his immediate removal as VA chief of staff." To see the report, go to: www.va.gov/oig/ pubs/VAOIG-12-02525-291R.pdf. See the let- ter at: http://tinyurl.com/96w97ly.
Oct. 8, 2012
Oct. 22, 2012