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Federal Employees News Digest : April 1, 2013
Marriage Act was passed in 1996, only 27 per- cent of Americans favored same-sex marriage, while 68 percent opposed it. To see more, go to: www.gallup.com/ poll/161462/americans-ok-benefits-federal- worker-same-sex-spouses.aspx. lawmakers blast TSA on new knife policy More than 100 members of Congress last month banded together to criticize the Transportation Security Administration's deci- sion allow passengers to carry certain small knives and other items aboard aircraft. A bipartisan group of 133 House lawmakers sent a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole expressing "serious concerns" over the decision, and urging him to reverse it. "I join my colleagues today to call upon TSA to revisit this potentially dangerous and con- fusing policy," one of the signers, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in a joint statement concerning the letter. "In the weeks since this change has been announced, the American public still has no solid explanation of the reasoning which led to the decision permitting potentially harmful items on airplanes -- creating a potential secu- rity gap," Thompson said. Another signer, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), said the level of congressional opposi- tion should serve as a wake-up call to TSA. "The decision to lift the ban on knives was done without any rhyme or reason, and without consulting any key stakeholders---like members of Congress, flight attendants and air marshals, and the general public," Grimm said in the statement. "We live in a post-9/11 world, and no safety threat should be taken lightly." While the March 21 letter notes that the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 does grant the TSA administrator authority to modify the list of prohibited items, the letter also said lawmak- ers "strongly believe that the prohibition of dangerous items is an integral layer in the safety of our aviation system." "While we support efforts to move toward a risk-based approach to security screenings which will allow Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) to focus their attention on searching for items that may produce catastrophic damage to an aircraft, the TSA's recent change in policy seems unlikely to produce significant efficien- cies at airport security," the letter said. "On the contrary, compliance with this new policy would require TSOs to inspect each knife that passes through the checkpoint to ensure that it does not exceed the size limits. Such an exercise seems more likely to cause delays than the current policy that bars all knives." See the letter at http://chsdemocrats.house. gov/press/index.asp?ID=784. April 1, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 35 8 Visit us on the internet at www.FederalDaily.com Thrift SavingsplanShareprices FuNDS MArch 26 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 14.0275 14.0563 13.8696 15.9940 15.9987 15.3847 19.8683 18.9873 17.5857 27.3587 25.9276 23.7910 21.8437 21.3031 19.8367 16.0394 15.8925 15.4353 19.6903 19.2540 18.2786 20.7048 20.1312 18.9400 21.5576 20.8730 19.5113 12.0117 11.5864 10.7725 Federal Benefits Q&A Question: "I took a FERS discontinued service retirement and am considering returning to federal service. Half of my sick leave balance was credited to my service time when my annuity was calculated. If I return to active service, is the other half of my sick leave given back to me, or do I start from zero?" Answer: As a rehired annuitant, you will not get credit for the half of your unused sick leave hours that was not added to your FERS service time when your FERS annuity was calculated. In other words, your sick leave starting balance when you begin your federal service as a rehired annuitant will be zero. 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 25, 2013
April 8, 2013