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Federal Employees News Digest : Jan. 28, 2013
said it is on track to implement a planned nationwide, paperless and streamlined disability claims process. The department announced this month that it is on schedule for full deployment of a new system that would make compensation claims entirely digi- tal at all of its regional offices this year. By the end of 2012, 18 VA regional offices had implemented the web-based Veterans Benefits Management System, and the remaining 38 offices will be on board in 2013, according to the agency. "For our veterans, VBMS will mean faster, higher-quality and more consis- tent decisions on claims," Allison A. Hickey, VA undersecretary for benefits, said in a statement. "We recognize that too many veterans are waiting too long to get the benefits they have earned, and that is unacceptable. This is a decades- old problem, and we are implementing a robust plan to address it," she said. Hickey added that the new system also is more user-friendly for claims proces- sors and offers automated tools and bet- ter access to pertinent information. The continued progress in the full deployment of VBMS is a significant step toward the VA's overall goal of eliminating the claims backlog by 2015, VA said. To see more, go to: www.va.gov/opa/ pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2418. House should reject freeze extension, NTEU says The latest effort to extend the fed- eral civilian pay freeze sparked a quick response from labor. Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, on Jan. 17 sent a letter to House members urging them to reject H.R. 273, introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), that would cancel a scheduled raise of 0.5 percent in late March and extend the current pay freeze through the end of the year. "A more than two-year pay freeze, constant threats of government shut- downs and furloughs, working with fewer resources because of budget cuts--- these are things that federal employees live with every day," Kelley wrote. "Yet, they continue to provide the vital ser- vices our citizens depend on. It is past time to allow them the tiny pay raise this bill would eliminate." "No other group has been singled out this way," she wrote. The House had planned to vote on the legislation Jan. 23, but last week post- poned consideration of the bill. January 28, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 26 8 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Thrift SavingsPlanSharePrices FunDS Jan. 18 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 14.0325 14.0154 13.8299 15.9926 15.9440 15.3947 18.7972 18.2729 16.1686 25.6581 24.3669 21.6794 21.4293 20.7401 18.1823 15.8526 15.7296 15.1370 19.1844 18.8235 17.4019 20.0463 19.5749 17.8314 20.7756 20.2135 18.2152 11.5298 11.1809 9.9727 Federal Benefits Q&A Question: "Are federal employees still covered by Federal Employees Health Benefits insurance if or while they are furloughed?" Answer: Yes, employees have full FEHB coverage during a furlough. 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 3
Jan. 21, 2013
Feb. 4, 2013