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Federal Employees News Digest : Dec. 10, 2012
now read "Federal Offices are Closed--- Emergency and Telework-Ready Employees Must Follow Their Agency's Policies." The change was made on the basis of recent feedback from agencies and employees during Hurricane Sandy. Berry also advised employees to review the updated procedures now and to dis- cuss telework options and requirements with supervisors. "Do not wait for an emergency to find out what to do," he said. OPM said it would continue to work with local and regional governments and trans- portation authorities in making dismissal decisions. The new Washington-area procedures are available at www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/ dismissal.pdf. Senate passes veterans’ mental health measure The Senate last month passed an amend- ment to the 2013 defense authorization bill that would improve mental health and sui- cide prevention services provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Senate approved the amendment, offered Nov. 28 by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), on a voice vote. Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, derived the amendment from a bill she sponsored earlier this year, the Mental Health ACCESS Act of 2012. The amendment would require VA to create a comprehensive, standardized sui- cide prevention program; expand eligibility for mental health services; improve train- ing and education for health care providers; and establish accurate and reliable measures for mental health services, among other improvements. "We must have effective suicide preven- tion programs in place," Murray said in a speech introducing the measure. "It's often only on the brink of crisis that a service member or veteran seeks care. If they are told 'sorry, we are too busy to help you,' we have lost the opportunity to help, and that is not acceptable," she added. Murray, who also sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, is expected to step down from her post to replace Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) as chair of the Senate Budget Committee upon his retirement. The amendment is at: http://thomas.loc. gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:Sp03099. December 10, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 22 9 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Thrift SavingsPlanSharePrices FuNDS Dec. 3 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 14.0075 13.9912 13.8000 16.0271 15.9821 15.2148 17.7797 17.7886 15.3384 23.6352 23.3998 20.4982 20.2165 19.7625 17.8944 15.6413 15.6010 14.9669 18.5483 18.4493 16.9636 19.2183 19.0968 17.2836 19.7921 19.6518 17.5807 10.9181 10.8310 9.5923 Federal Benefits Q&A Question: "I am a FERS employee, hired 11 years ago at age 38. I've been diligent in contributing the IRS maximum allow- able into my TSP account each year, and I am curious about "catch up" contributions. Can anyone make those contributions, or only individuals who haven't been contributing or haven't accumulated enough in their retirement accounts? I'd like to contribute extra to my retirement plan, if possible." Answer: In order to make TSP "catch-up" contributions (maximum $5,500 in 2012 and 2013), an employee must be at least age 50 by the end of the year and be committed to maximizing the regular TSP contributions (maximum $17,000 during 2012 and $17,500 during 2013). Therefore if you are 49 in 2012, and becoming age 50 during 2013, you can start making TSP "catch-up" contributions starting the first pay date in January 2013. Readers are encouraged to ask questions related to general employee benefits---such as CSRS, FERS, the Thrift Savings Plan, tax and estate planning, insurance, Social Security and Medicare---at the "Federal Benefits Q&A" at www.FederalSoup.com. continued from page 6
Dec. 3, 2012
Dec. 17, 2012