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Federal Employees News Digest : June 24, 2013
June 24, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 47 9 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Thrift SavingsPlanSharePrices FUNDS JUNE 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 14.1207 14.1015 13.9226 15.8518 16.0308 15.7280 21.0888 21.2517 16.7881 28.7529 28.9974 21.8873 22.6663 23.2382 17.6566 16.2450 16.2775 15.2937 20.2588 20.4019 17.6262 21.4410 21.6362 18.0748 22.4261 22.6643 18.4710 12.5524 12.7053 10.1065 Federal Benefits Q&A Question: "In regard to eligibility to participate in the phased retirement program, proposed rules indicate that an individual must be full-time three years prior to implementation of the program. So under current OPM rules (5 CFR part 340) a part-time schedule is 16 to 32 hours a week and once an employee works between 33 to 39 hours, they are considered full-time. So if some- one falls within the second range of hours, would they be eligible as long as the other requirements are fulfilled?" Answer: Under the proposed rules for phased retirement issued by OPM last week, full-time employment---whether service is under CSRS or under FERS---is defined as a 40-hour work week (Monday through Friday). 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 5 the incidents. The numbers also included one killing, that of Mount Rainier National Park law enforcement ranger Margaret Anderson in Washington state, who was shot to death on Jan. 1, 2012. "Unfortunately, violence and abuse directed against public servants is becom- ing more common," PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said in a statement. Ruch said factors cited by the federal employees involved in the reported inci- dents include conflicts over resource poli- cies, increased illegal use of public lands for meth labs and marijuana cultivation, and greater penetration of backcountry areas by off-road vehicles. "The one certainty is that these agencies will have less support to cope with increas- ing demands in the year ahead," Ruch said. See more at: www.peer.org/news/news- releases/2013/06/17/spike-in-attacks-on- rangers-and-federal-land-managers/. VA cutting claims backlog The director of compensation services for the Department of Veterans Affairs told a Senate panel that VA has made good progress in reducing its backlog of claims for disability benefits. That VA official, Thomas Murphy, told the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on June 12 that the department is "at a tip- ping point" in its efforts to resolve the out- standing compensation claims of 851,000 veterans still awaiting decisions. While two-thirds of those outstanding claims have been on hold for more than 125 days, VA's disability claims backlog has steadily decreased in the nine weeks since the end of March, he said, in some measure because of a transition from paper to digital records. Murphy also said that the department is on schedule to meet a goal of processing all claims within 125 days---with 98 percent accuracy---by the end of 2015. "I honestly believe we're going to hit that number," Murphy told the panel. Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) welcomed the news, but cautioned that there was work to be done. "The current backlog is unacceptable and this committee will do everything pos- sible to make sure the VA achieves its goal," Sanders said. "We will continue to monitor the situation very closely." Sanders has sponsored a bill, the Claims Processing Improvement Act, which among other things would require VA to file public quarterly reports on its progress in reducing the backlog. To see more, go to: www.veterans.sen- ate.gov/press-releases.cfm?action=release. display&release_id=ce70015c-65b1-4efc- bb4c-330acf180c57.
June 17, 2013
July 1, 2013