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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct 28, 2013
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org What's Inside44 OCTOBER 28, 2013 • VOL. 63, NO. 15 So ... how's your TSP? There are currently 77,948 federal workers with Thrift Savings Plan account balances of $500,000 or more. That's 1.67 percent of all TSP participants. The amount of money one has in the TSP is important for workers who are under the old Civil Service Retirement System. But for the majority of those under the Federal Employees Retirement System, the amount one has in the TSP is critical. A healthy TSP account is a must-have for FERS employees, along with their Social Security benefit and their (reduced) civil service annuity. Because FERS retirees get smaller fed- eral pensions, and because they get so- called diet COLAs (cost-of-living adjust- ments), their TSP balances are key to their survival in retirement. Included in half-a-million club are 929 current federal workers whose TSP bal- ances exceed $1 million. If you don't have a million bucks in your TSP account, don't feel bad. Many of the pension millionaires were high- priced lawyers or doctors who moved their outside accounts to the TSP when they joined the government. But a good number did it on their own, using their federal salaries and good steady-as-she- goes investing to hit the half-million or INSIGHT BY MIKE CAUSEY continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • DOD sets loss at $600M 4 • USPS hours still out of sync with volume 5 • In Brief 5 • Legal Matters 7 • Informed Investor 8 • Federal Benefits Q&A 9 continued on page 3 APWU president-elect looks to 'grand alliance' This week, FEND presents the second half of our interview with American Postal Workers Union President-elect Mark Dimondstein, who recently won the post from incumbent APWU President Cliff Guffey in a campaign promising a more activist agenda. FEND's Nathan Abse this week asks Dimondstein about specific solutions to longstanding U.S. Postal Service problems---including the "prefunding" issue that is siphoning away billions of dollars of revenue each year. Q&A with American Postal Workers Union President-Elect Mark Dimondstein How is the "grand alliance" you say you will build---comprising APWU, interested advocacy organizations for senior citizens and others, and other unions---different from your union's past efforts? Dimondstein: The alliance we are talking about here is one that there has never been a serious effort to build before. And really this is true of any of the postal unions as far as I can tell--- but I am focused on ours. And this is an effort, an alliance, we very much want to do along with the other postal unions. This is not a grand alliance of the APWU and the people of this coun- try, this is a grand alliance of the postal workers and [all of] their unions with the people of this country. So, has that also been a problem: divisiveness among the postal unions? Or at least the unions not "synching" together? Dimondstein: The problem has been that the unions have not been in full cooperation mode in this time of seri- ous challenge to the Postal Service. I hope to set a tone so that the postal unions are working much more closely together. Now, what about the elephant in the room: the 2006 law requiring the Postal Service to prefund retiree health care benefits deep into the future---costing over $5 billion per year now? How will you fight that differently than your predecessor? Dimondstein: Prefunding is an extremely important issue. We must stop it; we must defeat it. It is a false, congres- sionally manufactured postal financial crisis caused by the requirement to fund future healthcare costs many decades into the future---and funding it all with- in 10 years. It cuts deep into the Postal Service's finances---taking $5.5 billion a year, draining postal funds for the feder- al coffers, and making their bottom line
Oct 21, 2013
Nov 4, 2013