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Federal Employees News Digest : March 25, 2013
Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Ami Bera (D-Calif.) last week introduced the Sequestration of Pay for Members of Congress Act, which would cut pay for members of Congress by 8.2 percent---the same percentage as the estimated cut to nonexempt discretionary spending that agencies will experience under sequestration. "Much has been said about sequestration, but few have mentioned that the pay of members of Congress is exempted," DeSantis said in a press statement. "When members exempt themselves from the operation of the law, it's not only unfair, but it also violates a core principle of republican government." "As representatives, we should lead by exam- ple," said Bera. "It's completely hypocritical for members of Congress to exempt themselves from across-the-board spending cuts, while the American people are bearing the burden of those cuts." However, as the two noted, members' pay would not be cut until November 2014--- after the midterm election---because the 27th Amendment does not permit any change to congressional pay to take effect "until an elec- tion of representatives shall have intervened." To see more, go to: http://desantis.house. gov/media-center/press-releases/congress- men-desantis-and-bera-introduce-biparti- san-legislation-to. Education benefits processing speeds up, Va says The Department of Veterans Affairs said technical advances have allowed it to process benefit payments for students currently enrolled in the Post 9/11 GI Bill education program in an average of six days, less than half the time it took during spring enrollment last year. VA said a new enhancement to its automat- ed processing system now allows end-to-end automation of Post-9/11 GI Bill claims without manual handling. The department said that during February, 46 percent of the more than 115,000 incoming documents for enrolled stu- dents were fully automated, and another one- third were partially automated. While processing benefits for enrolled stu- dents takes an average of six days, it takes about 24 days for new students to establish Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility, VA noted. VA has provided $27 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits over the last three and one-half years, the department said To see more, go to: www.va.gov/opa/press- rel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2432. March 25, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 34 8 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Thrift SavingsPlanSharePrices FuNDS March 19 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 14.0685 14.0519 13.8653 15.9969 15.9170 15.3046 19.6652 19.4073 17.4980 27.1300 26.7773 23.6446 21.8995 21.8433 19.9249 16.0146 15.9611 15.4177 19.6237 19.5000 18.2443 20.6172 20.4604 18.8968 21.4533 21.2698 19.4611 11.9481 11.8374 10.7445 Federal Benefits Q&A Question: "What are the rules concerning survivor benefits and FEHB in regard to getting married pre-retirement versus post-retirement?" Answer: If as an employee you are married to someone for at least nine months while you were in federal service, then you must give your spouse a survivor annuity. This assumes that there is no court order ordering you to give a survivor annuity to a former spouse. If you get married after you retire, then you can---but do not have to---give a survivor annuity to your spouse. Once again, this assumes that there is no court order ordering you to give a survivor annuity to a former spouse. Perhaps the one reason you would want to give a survivor annuity to a spouse you married after you had retired is to guarantee that your spouse keeps the FEHB health benefits in the event you predecease your spouse. 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
March 18, 2013
April 1, 2013