Author Archive

Erich Wagner

Erich Wagner
Erich Wagner is a senior correspondent covering pay, benefits, organized labor and other federal workforce issues. He joined Government Executive in the spring of 2017 after extensive experience writing about state and local issues in Maryland and Virginia, most recently as editor-in-chief of the Alexandria Times. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

TSP participants sue agency over ‘botched’ recordkeeper transition

A class action lawsuit filed last week alleges that the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program repeatedly failed to pay out participants’ withdrawal and loan requests for months following the transition to a new recordkeeping vendor.


The Biden administration tells agencies to scale back telework

Federal employee unions and career agency HR leaders reportedly were left out of the development of a new Office of Management and Budget memo that instructs agencies to “substantially increase meaningful in-person work at federal offices.”


House, Senate Dems push bill to prevent the next Schedule F

The latest legislative proposal to block presidents from unilaterally stripping federal workers of their civil service protections creates additional barriers to reclassifying employees.


Congressional Democrats propose an 8.7% pay raise for feds in 2024

The annually introduced bill would provide a 4.7% across-the-board increase in basic pay and an average 4% increase to locality pay.


Here’s what still needs to happen for feds to get their 2023 pay raise

Although there’s only a month left in the year, there are still a number of things that must be done to finalize an average 4.6% pay hike for civilian federal workers in January.


OPM finalizes rules rescinding provisions of Trump’s firing executive order

The new regulations follow through on a 2021 executive order signed by President Biden rescinding several of the Trump administration’s personnel policies.


Federal retirees are set to receive the highest COLA in decades, but some will get less than others

Civil Service Retirement System enrollees will see an 8.7% increase in their defined benefit pension payments in 2023, while participants in the Federal Employees Retirement System will only receive a 7.7% increase.


Federal employees will pay 8.7% more toward health care premiums next year

The Office of Personnel Management said increased use of health care services as the COVID-19 pandemic has waned has led to the sharpest uptick in health insurance premiums in more than a decade.


Your guide to pay and benefits during a shutdown

Although lawmakers are loath to let appropriations lapse ahead of an election, complications remain over permitting reform and other measures expected to be included in legislation to keep the government open.


House passes bill to prevent civil service overhauls without input from Congress

Despite the support of more than 30 good government groups, Republicans remained largely opposed to the measure.


It's official: Biden formalizes average 4.6% pay raise plan for feds in 2023

The annual declaration of a national emergency preventing large automatic pay increases from taking effect confirms that 0.5% of the total pay raise will go to an average increase in locality pay.


The contractor responsible for the TSP’s troubled recordkeeping transition pledges to improve

Since the TSP moved to Accenture’s recordkeeping system on June 1, participants have bemoaned a variety of issues with the new service.


A union is urging support for TSA workforce reform in the defense policy bill

The American Federation of Government Employees also said they oppose a plan to delay the Defense Department’s return to one-year probationary periods for new employees.

IT Modernization

GAO will investigate the troubled TSP recordkeeper transition

Officials at the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program said nearly 2 million participants have successfully set up their new online account access, and call center wait times are down to around 10 minutes.


Senate Dems have joined the push to block a Schedule F revival

As Republican groups discuss plans to reinstitute the controversial plan to strip tens of thousands of federal workers of their civil service protections, congressional Democrats have renewed their efforts to block it.


Trump has endorsed a plan to purge the civil service of ‘rogue bureaucrats’

Former Trump staffers have said they have identified 50,000 federal employees who would be ousted under a new iteration of Schedule F during the next Republican administration.

Digital Government

TSP officials say they’re nearing ‘normalcy’ after a troublesome recordkeeper transition

Wait times on the customer service number for the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings plan are down from over two hours to 15 minutes on average.


The House has cleared the way for Biden’s 4.6% pay raise plan

Lawmakers effectively endorsed the president’s pay raise proposal for federal workers Wednesday, although the Senate has yet to weigh in on the issue.


Federal employee morale is falling, and one group thinks the Slow appointments process is to blame

The Veterans Affairs Department was the only large agency to improve on its 2020 score in the latest annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government report.