Today, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Tom Cole (R-OK), introduced the Federal Retirement Fairness Act of 2019 (H.R. 2478). The bill would provide certain federal employees the opportunity to make catch-up retirement contributions for time spent as temporary employees after Dec. 31, 1988, thus making such time creditable service under the Federal Employees Retirement System, and for other purposes.
The key difference between H.R. 2478 and the version introduced in the previous Congress is that temporary postal employees, such as letter carriers who spent time as casuals, TEs, and CCAs, are specifically covered in the new bill’s language. This clarification is helpful for postal employees to plan for their retirement, should the legislation be signed into law.
“Many federal employees begin their careers in temporary positions before transitioning to permanent status – so we need to have their backs,” said Rep. Kilmer. “This bill will ensure that all federal workers, from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and beyond, have the opportunity to retire at the same time, regardless of how they started their careers.”
“I am proud to join in introducing the Federal Retirement Fairness Act that allows federal workers, first hired under temporary status, to receive retirement credit for the entirety of their government service,” said Rep. Cole. “The existing policy provides no benefit to federal employees or the federal government, but the buy-back option gives workers additional credit toward retirement which is an option they currently do not have available.”
NALC supports the Federal Retirement Fairness Act and will make sure to keep letter carriers posted on the legislation’s progression.