The president’s 2019 budget also includes several familiar proposals to change the federal retirement system, many of which the White House included in the previous year‘s request.
Specifically, the president is recommending:
- An increase in employee contributions by 1 percent each year,
- An elimination of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for current and future Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) participants and a 0.5 percent cut to the COLA for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) participants of what the typical formula currently allows,
- Basing future retirement benefits on the average of an employee’s highest five years of salary, and,
- An elimination of the FERS Special Retirement Supplement, payments for employees who retire before age 62.
The Trump administration is also recommending changes to the formula that currently dictates the government’s contribution rate for participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
The budget suggests that moving forward, the Office of Personnel Management base the government’s contribution rate on an FEHB plan’s score from the program’s plan performance assessment. OPM rates all FEHBP carriers on 19 health outcomes, quality and efficiency standards.
A formula set under law determines the share that the government and the enrollee pays toward FEHBP premiums each year. Government pays about 75 percent of a participant’s premium up to a certain cap. The cap equals 72 percent of the weighted average of the previous year’s premiums.
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