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August 15, 2018

Public Sector Retirement News

Federal Employee Retirement and Benefits News

Category: Featured

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Theranos lab is a jeopardy to patient safety, says the Government

theranosThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services has always been vigilant in making judgements about various medical centers across the country and recently they have ruled the Theranos Facility in Newark, California is posing an “immediate jeopardy to the safety of patients”. A letter has been sent to the company in this regard assigning them 10 days to improve the lab and ensure “acceptable evidence of correction”

Theranos lab under scrutiny:

The document lists down a lot of problems and probably the most significant one being the one with the laboratory director. Apart from him, the technical supervisor and the analytic systems of the lab have all been deemed incapable of performing standard procedures. This has all been concluded after the department made inspections in December. There has not been much explanations associated with the discoveries as presented by the department but condition level deficiencies have been the biggest culprits in this regard.

The lab could even lost its certification if it doesn’t take immediate correctional actions and that would mean that the Theranos lab would not be able to perform any tests. CMS can also decide upon fining the lab up to 10 thousand dollars per day.

Even though there are concerns regarding the lab that do need correction, we still feel that they could have been provided with a little over 10 days to make the required changes. The administration of the lab has ascertained that they realize they have made some mistakes and there are some infrastructural changes that are needed but they require some more time to make all the corrections. They have ensured CMS that their efforts are in full flow and they will try their best to meet the deadline but if they don’t, we certainly hope that they get an extension to right their wrong.

Federal government advised to establish a Zika Protection Plan

zika-self-protection-guidelinesCheck Schumer who is a New York based US senator is of the view point that the Americans need to be very concerned about the Zika virus and has urged the federal government to take the mater very seriously and subsequently launch a plan in the bid to contain it.

Form a plan to contain the Zika Virus, says Schumer

Already around 5 people in New York and around 30 in many other states have been infected, early reports indicate. Many health experts have said that the virus finds its origins in South America and the culprit for its transmission is allegedly the Asian Tiger mosquito, Schumer still believes that the virus won’t have many problems in spreading across the country. He backed this argument by saying that the specific mosquito is indigenous in the US.

He further said that if there isn’t a protective plan launched by the government, the outbreak could happens as soon as the coming summer. The “three point plan” proposed by the Senator is what he believes will fight the virus with full force. He has urged the government to formulate the plan before we reach the summer months and to start the vaccination process preferably by the end of the year.

While the Senator is only talking sense, the initiatives that he expects the federal government to take aren’t likely to be undertaken in the near future. Many reports do indicate that the virus can prove to be a big threat to the country and we hope that the authorities look in to the matter before it develops into something that can’t be contained. The protective plan proposed by Check Schumer could go a long way in ensuring the safety and good health of millions of Americans across the country and should be given immediate attention.

 

Police retirement benefits need to be restored

police retirement benefitsThe Utah Legislature is now in session and the legislators will do themselves and the general public a lot of good if they urge the Utah Retirement board to go back on their previously formed decision concerning the retirement benefits of law enforcement and correctional officers and reverse it.

Restore the police retirement benefits:

The concerned officers are servants of the society and they need to be compensated accordingly for their valour and service. Previously, they were liable to achieve retirement upon 20 years of service and then receive 50 percent of their last pay. The new plan, that is regarding the police and other law enforcement officials requires agencies to hire qualified men and women and make them work at-least 25 years before they can get retirement. Also, they would now only be liable to receive around 37.5 percent.

This decision is not the ideal way of thanking the men and women who took upon the responsibility of wearing a badge with pride and honour. The final decision lies in the hands of the board but it’s the legislators’ responsibility to make their voices heard to the board and possibly restore the retirement benefits that the officers deserve.

 

How Obama plans to change retirement accounts

President Barack Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call from the Oval Office, Monday, June 8, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.This official White House photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way or used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

2015 saw the introduction of a new retirement account by the name of myRA and there was a lot talked about the account as well. In the budget that is set to hit center stage in 2017, President Obama plans on making some changes in the retirement accounts as well:

How retirement accounts will change in 2017:

  1. Automatic IRAs: Employees are almost all the times automatically added to the workspace’s 401(k) plan unless they vote out of it. In the coming budget, the President intends to automatically enrol all of the employees into individual retirement accounts. This is indeed a great initiative.
  2. Employers will have larger tax breaks: Small businesses and their owners are liable to receive tax credit whenever they set up a new retirement plan. The President wants to triple this credit and make the amount go up to 1500 dollars per year for as much as 3 years for small companies that offer retirement plans.
  3. Port your benefits: The budget will also make the proposal to allow the funding of pilot programs that will be helpful in making benefits portable for those people who would like to change jobs.
  4. Participate part time: Employers will have the authority to not include the part-time employees in the retirement plans of the country. To be considered eligible for a retirement plan, you would have to work at-least 500 hours per year for 3 or more years.
  5. 401(k) plans but pooled: Small businesses find it excessively hard to set up and then manage the 401(k) plans. Currently employers that have a “common band” can establish 401(k) plans. Obama intends to remove the common bond requirement.

These alterations are looked forward to by many of the retirees and they can help the federal government in making the post-retirement lives of retirees a lot better.

No further action against General David Petraeus

MTE5NTU2MzE1OTMxOTAzNDk5Ashton Carter who is the Defense Secretary has made the decision regarding the case of David Petraeus. He has indicated that there will not be any further actions taken by the Department against the retired General. This was indicated by a letter that was received by CNN this past week.

No more actions against David Petraeus:

The letter was meant to be received by Senator John McCain who is an Arizona Republican and also the Senate Armed Service Committee chairman.

The options that were available at Carter’s disposal were the following:

  1. Demote Petraeus to a 3-star general from a 4-star general. This would of course have also affected his retirement salary.
  2. Not make the demotion decision and allow David to enjoy the complete list of retirement benefits that he will now be set to achieve.

The letter’s credibility was confirmed by an official of the Defense department but there were no further elaborations made in this regard.

The whole situation developed when David acknowledged whilst in court proceedings that he provided Paula Broadwell access to classified material. Along with this, he also mentioned that he was in a personal relationship with the author. David Petraeus will still remain responsible for any wrongdoing that he might have done while being an active servant of the department.

 

Flint To Be Ordered To Get Lead Pipes Replaced

flint water scandalThe water contamination scandal that took place in Flint has been among the news for quite some time now. It has also led to a lot of legal actions being taken but this new lawsuit that you are about to know about can be the one the administration would have feared the most about. An advocacy group coalition claim that the Flint officials made a US federal Safe Drinking Water Act violation by making the drinking water source switch. This could entail the ordering of lead pipe infrastructure replacement with immediate effect.

Flint to replace the lead pipes:

Dimple Chaudhary, who is a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said that this urge to make a federal court intervene is justified because the Flint people can’t afford another miscalculation made by the government agencies who effectively paved the road towards infrastructure devastation and the consequent water contamination. Flint resident Melissa Mays, Concerned Pastors for Social Action, the ACLU and NRDC formed the coalition that filed the complaint. This lawsuit is different particularly because it’s objective is to introduce the role of federal government and not just earn monetary damage compensations.

Kristi Pullen, who is a scientist at the NRDS explained that Flint has been susceptible to damage particularly because around 40 percent of the total population resides below the poverty line which increases their likeliness to develop health problems. The illiteracy rate is also high and a large percentage of the population comprises of children that are between the ages of 5 and 16; making them more vulnerable to get poisoned by lead. Also, there are a lot of kids in Flint that have approximately tripled their blood lead levels over the past few years. This all amalgamates to form an alarming situation in need of attention.

 

Congress, the Last Battle for Women in Every Combat Role

U.S. Southern Command Gen. John F. Kelly

Four F-15 Eagle pilots from the 3rd Wing walk to their respective jets at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, on Wednesday, July 5, for the fini flight of Maj. Andrea Misener (far left). To her right are Capt. Jammie Jamieson, Maj. Carey Jones and Capt. Samantha Weeks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown)
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown)

U.S. Southern Command Gen. John F. Kelly closed out his 45 year Marine Corps career by ringing a bell that he wants heard on Capitol Hill. It came at his last press conference from the Pentagon when asked to comment on Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s planned implementation that every combat role without exception be opened to women.

Kelly responded that the only thing that should matter is what makes “us more lethal on the battlefield?” He expounded his answer by attacking the possibility of lowering standards in these roles in the future. Even though leaders and Congress have said standards will be kept high Kelly has one fear.

As women move into these roles, there will be questions by leaders and Congress why they are not moving up the ranks, receiving promotions or staying in these roles. This may inevitably lead to a lowering of the standards to make equality in leadership. He states “it will be very, very difficult to have any… real numbers come into the infantry or the Rangers or the Navy SEALs.” U.S. Southern Command Gen. John F. Kelly

Kelly further attacked those wanting to empower women through this agenda-priority in Washington stating it will lead to a lower of combat standards, not now, but at some point in the future.

On the other side of this conversation is one outspoken proponent of the Carter’s proposal, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, democrat for Illinois. As a retired Army National Guard Officer, Duckworth lost both legs and partial use of an arm while piloting a Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq.

Duckworth states “none of the women who are going to apply [and] meet the standards to serve in these units want the units to be less capable or less deadly.” She further stated that she is not surprised about a General stating comments along the lines of Kelly.

Duckworth admits not being able to make Ranger school, but knows there are a lot of guys that couldn’t either. “Whatever percentage of women can, even if it’s two percent, let them do the job!”

The discussion over skill exemptions put forth from the Marine Corps, the largest critic and naysayer about fully open and integrated gender training and combat roles, now goes before Congress for final decisions.

However even in Congress the debate is split between those that want to slightly modify Carter’s no-exception policy in opening all combat roles to woman and those that want all roles open to women that have the physical and mental toughness to do the job.

Currently about 10% of all military positions are closed to females totally almost 220,000 jobs. These positions are mainly infantry, reconnaissance, armor, and certain special operations units. So far the Marine Corps is the only military division to seek a skills-exemption for some front-line combat skill positions from gender integration arguing mixed gender units would be less capable in ground combat.

Even Duckworth admits that a women would need to be able to drag a 250lbs soldier (fully geared) while returning fire from their weapon to be able to meet the actual demands of ground combat, but agrees “If you can, and you’re ready to lay down your life for your country, good for you. Go do it.”

 

Will TSP be effected by American Savings Act?

The TSP could be closely linked to the new system that will be created once the recent developments regarding the American Savings Act gets put into place. As we mentioned in the previous posts we made, a system that will be identical to the TSP is to be developed and a bill regarding it has already been proposed. It will be another way for the Americans who plan on making retirement savings to actually set up accounts and do so.

Will TSP be affected by the new system?

TSP could be one of the organizations whose proceedings can get affected by this new system. The FRTIB or the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is the agency that manages the plan and it previously was of the idea that TSP should not be applicable to all the working Americans. The reason behind this isn’t hard to grasp however. The TSP has a very simplistic design with just 5 core funds and 5 lifecycle funds.

While the ASA in theory intends to have as low expenses as that of TSP, the ability for the new applicants to get the same low fees is at risk of getting changed. Once TSP gets opened to over 70 million Americans that have still not got any retirement coverage, rudimentary alterations would have to be made to the TSP infrastructure.

It’s also assumed that the American Savings act might end up establishing an organization that’s identical to TSP just so the structure that’s currently in place for the federal retirees, military personnel and federal employees keeps on functioning as it’s with its low fee structure and limited options to invest. We will have to wait and see how these developments occur and at this time, the best we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Trump Raised $6 million for Veterans

veteransTwo major veteran groups have announced this past week that they will indeed be accepting the money that has been raised by the campaign rally run by Donald Trump. The rally was staged after the candidate made the decision of skipping the latest GOP debate preceding the Iowa caucuses. While there was positive announcements, some skeptic veterans were reluctant to say “Aye”.

Veterans welcome Trump money:

The president of the DAVCST or the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust was the one who made the announcement. He said that we have been explicitly reached out by the Donald Trump Foundation and have been told that there is a donation that’s aimed at providing the organization the funds that it direly needs. He further said that this could go a long way in making their bid towards ensuring complete health and benefits of the veterans a successful one.

This particular trust is a nonpartisan agency that is responsible for supporting psychological and physical rehabilitation programs that provide direct support to the veterans that have been injured for some reason or have a disability. Marbes did make it very clear in his statement that he or the agency is in no way related to the campaign run by the forth runner. He mentioned that he expects all the candidates to possess the same beliefs that they do and help us in any way they can.

This step is an indicative of good will from Donald Trump and it could instigate a series of related events where candidates will help and support agencies like DAVCST in their mission to help the servants of the nation

Employers can avoid offering myRA

myRA retirement savings planThe Department of the Treasury says that employers will not “have” to offer the new retirement savings account “myRA” to their employees.

Employers don’t have to offer myRA:

The myRA program is expected to fill out a big hole for all the workers and the employers collectively. All the employees that don’t qualify for the existing retirement plans of their employers will be eligible to get their hands on myRA and make some contributions to their post retirement funds.

The sole purpose of the account, as indicated by the treasury department is not to replace the DC plan but the main reason for it to get introduced was so that the workers who don’t have any retirement plans available can get something going for them as well. In the beginning, those employers who want to offer myRA will make their employees aware and will offer them the required details and the employees will then be able to enrol once the accounts become available. The minimum contribution will be 25 dollars.

The employer can then also make the decision of automatically deducting amounts from the pay checks of their employees. These contributions can be as less as 5 dollars and the account can also be ported and is of course not limited to just one employer.

We are going to be presented with the account probably by the end of this year.

 

Cheap Oil Will Not Boost the US Economy

Cheap Oil Will Not Boost the US Economy

Oil_wellThe stark reduction of oil prices in the world is not news to anybody and people are really excited about it in general. The consumers of US though, are thinking twice before deciding to spend their windfall earned from meagerly priced gasoline and are trying to save even more money. This has been indicated by quite some polls done by companies and this all indicates that low oil prices aren’t going to boost the economy much- this time.

Cheap oil won’t be a boom for the US economy:

Cheap oil isn’t a phrase that we use very often but in the recent past whenever we have used it, it has brought about many positive signs for the country. The data from the Commerce Department indicates that when crude oil dropped 70 percent in price last year, the reduction in day to day spending of gasoline and other related products was as much as 115 billion (annually). This is roughly equal to around 0.5 percent of the GDP. During the same time though, the savings also piled up a lot and reached to around 121 billion dollars. Out of this amount, the windfall did account for a significant percentage.

While the numbers and figures from the past are indicative of delightful results, this year the economists doubt that we are going to have the same luck. Experts believe that the scars from the recession (2007-09) are still very fresh and this could cause the effect on consumption to not amount to anything significant. To put things into perspective consider this: In mid 2014, the economy recovered around 7 million jobs that were lost as a result of the downturn.

These notions however pragmatic are only opinions and the real repercussions will only be apparent once we analyse the results of the whole cheap oil situation. Let’s hope for the best.

 

The increasing number of women in Federal Government

federal government women

There was a time when women weren’t an integral part of a society and we fear those times. We have come a long way and now women constitute a pivotal part of our cabinet. There is a heavy percentage of women present in executive top level positions in the federal government and they have been making some good advancements and taking some noticeable steps in the recent past too. This is not just talk but a report released by OPM in 2014 revealed that around 34 percent of senior positions at federal workplaces are held by women. This though is not also seen in the private sector where women carry only 14.6 percent of the executive positions (this was indicated by a Center for American progress report in 2014).

Women with executive federal government jobs:

The best part about this is that women are found in the upper levels of the government as well. We have seen stark rises in the numbers as in 1976, there were only 21 percent women who held executive positions in both administrative and professional paradigms and now (As indicated by a Merit Systems Protection Board report) the number has gone up to 44 percent. With the passage of another 5 years, we are expected to see even better results.

The former OMB administrator, Karen Evans thinks exactly like we do. She said that women hardly played any role in the cabinet before; just like in 1965 when Johnson had no women in the cabinet and it stayed the same with Nixon in charge. When Carter assumed office, he gave 3 women the change to occupy cabinet and we have only seen advancements ever since.

While we await reports that will surely indicate better results, let’s hope that this trend continues on for an endless period of time.

Disability Retirement Myths

disability retirementIt’s instilled in the human nature (some experts believe) to take some facilities for granted, something that disabled persons know all too well. For instance, we take our health for granted and suppose that if are healthy and don’t carry any disease, it’s because that’s how life normally is. When however we spend some time on the hospital bed yawing with pain and failing to drink a glass of water all by ourselves, we realize that health is something of fascinating importance.

For the federal employees, there are certain sources of getting health related insurance money. The FERS disability retirement is something that comes to mind when you put the keywords of “health” and “federal government” together. There are certain myths about the program though that we thought needed some clearance. Here are those myths:

  1. Your medical condition must be work-induced to get disability retirement:

This is probably the biggest misconception present in the minds of many employees. The disability that you might have encountered must have been because of your work; and this is not only inclusive of injuries but rather other stress related conditions like depression, cancer or diabetes can also be considered eligible. ‘

2. You don’t need to be qualified for the SS disability:

You need to also apply for the social security disability while applying for the federal one. This is often considered unimportant because you don’t even need to get approved.

  • You can still be working:

This is a myth that is also often present. You don’t need to actually have stopped working to be eligible.

3.You don’t need to be completely disabled:

The last myth that is present in the federal minds is that a successful recipient needs to be completely disabled. However this is definitely not the case; even if you are able to walk and talk normally, you are still eligible if you have some other injury.

 

OPM December retirement claims receives a small break

office of personnel management opm employee express

OPM received a slight remission in the number of retirement applications it received towards the end of the last year with the company continually slogging away at the claim backlog for the month of December.

OPM December claims received a break:

OPM received the lowest number of claims in December 2015 since December of 2014 i.e. 4753. The number was 4077 when reports were compiled a year before last month.

Around 6000 claims were processed during December 2015 though, and it left the backlog of unprocessed retirement cases at around 11 thousand which is a good enough figure to start off the New Year. OPM has been increasing their processing number throughout the year and in May it processed around 11 thousand claims which was also a record. Another interesting fact is that the organization processed around 78 percent of all the claims within 60 days or less in the last year. This rate was around 85 percent for 2014.

All in all, 2015 was a very big year for OPM with the data breach incident taking the spotlight away from all the other developments. It’s expected that the vigour with which the employees worked after the data breach is going to get extended with the start of the New Year. They have started encouraging people to drop in their retirement applications as their motivation to deliver has increased many folds. It’s hoped that they are not going to be faced with another predicament in the near future and that they will be able to help the federal officers get their retirements processed smoothly as well.

Americans told to limit sugar use by the Federal Government

Federal Government sugarHaving lesser sugar in your food means lesser calories and that’s normally good for health. That’s probably not exactly what the federal government took heed from when they released a new report urging the Americans to cut back on their daily usage of sugar. Yes, you read that absolutely right.

Federal Government wants you to limit sugar use:

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the report that has made the recommendation to the general public to limit the amount of sugars in diets to under 10 percent of the daily calories. This is not something that’s unachievable when you consider the fact that this equals around 12 teaspoons of sugar daily. But, digest this: A can of coke contains around 10 teaspoons.

On average, Americans take around 13 percent of their daily calories from added sugars and teens normally reach around 17 percent. This is all indicated by the recently released report. Here, it’s worth mentioning that the natural sugar containing foods like milk, apples or raisins aren’t considered “added sugars”.

Another startling fact is that around half of these sugars come from beverages such as the sports drinks, juices and sodas. The intake of these drinks is also increasing considerably.

It’s highly recommended that we start acting on the guidelines made clear by this report because in the longer run, they can do us invaluable good. The quality of life that controlled added sugar intake guarantees is something that we all look forward to but fail to achieve because we succumb to sugary greatness. With the start of the New Year, it won’t be a bad ambition to become more healthy and with sustained daily intake of sugar, we can go a long way in maintain our health as indicated by the report that’s based on statistical and scientific analysis by experts.

 

New healthcare plan released by Bernie Sanders

bernie-sanders healthcare plan

Bernie Sanders, who is the presidential candidate for the Democrats has recently released details about his universal healthcare plan that is named “Medicare for all” and he also explained how he plans on paying for it.

Bernie Sanders and the universal healthcare plan:

The plan was probably deliberately released only hours before Sanders was to appear in a presidential debate in South Carolina against the former secretary of state, Hilary Clinton. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley was also part of the debate.

Clinton had taken some serious aims at Sanders in the past few weeks, giving him some serious stick about his healthcare plan and how he might end up failing to pay for the plan. She also stressed that Sanders is not prudent enough to know when to act formidably in this regard.

Sanders made a very strong point. HE said that by expanding this government-run healthcare program that helps the elderly a lot would in turn save around 6 trillion dollars over the span of the next decade (compared to the currently in place system established by Obama in 2010). All the individuals would have to pay a 2.2 percent premium and the employers would have to part with around 6.2 percent of their payroll tax to fund the plan. All the individuals that make from 250 thousand to 500 thousand annually would pay a tax of around 37 percent and the ones making more than 10 million will pay around 52 percent tax,

While these are still just numbers, Bernie Sanders has always been somebody who knows what he is taking about and this looks no different. This universal healthcare plan could indeed go a long way in not only saving the government a lot of money but also in making healthcare readily available especially to the most needy.

Earn the maximum amount of money from TSP matching contributions

Thrift Savings Plan TSP

Are you one of those FERS employees that are compensated more than most? And do you also contribute the maximum amount of money to your TSP account every year? There is some good news for you. You can stop losing matching contributions of the government by maxing your TSP out before the year ends.

 

Earn money from TSP matching contributions:

The government is liable to contribute around 5 percent of your pay check to the TSP after every pay period. Here’s how:

  1. There is a 1 percent automatic contribution that’s paid even if you are not contributing to your TSP.
  2. A dollar-for-dollar match applicable on 3 percent of your income that you add after every pay cycle.
  3. The next 2 percent of your income that you add each pay period will also have a fifty-cent on a dollar match.

So, if you contribute a certain amount of money that’s substantial then you are bound to lose some serious amounts of money to government contributions. Here’s how you can prevent this from happening:

First what you need to do is divide your salary by the number of pay dates and not the pay periods in a year. Normally there are around 26 pay dates. There are some cases when there are 27 days as well but let’s just stick to a 26 day one for this example. If you earn 110 thousand dollars in a year, then you will have to part with 693 dollars after every pay period. This will ensure that you receive around 5 percent government contribution for each of your pay period.

 

This strategy is of course not applicable to those who don’t earn a lot of money but for those who get compensated a substantial amount, this is certainly something to know about.

Federal Budget Deficit Amounted to 14 Billion in December

budget deficitThe Treasury Department said this past week that the budget deficit amounted to around 14 billion dollars for the month of December 2015. When you compare this to the surplus of 2 billion in the same month of 2014, it speaks volumes.

Federal budget deficit 14 billion in December:

This is not something startlingly new. For the third month of the contemporary fiscal year, the government has overspent. For this month, the figures were: Spending: 364 billion. Intake: 350 billion.

The treasury department also indicated that the budget deficit could have gone to around 38 billion dollars had the Government not timed some transactions like benefit payments.

The deficit has risen to be 22 percent now. This is around 216 billion dollars in surplus. It’s worth mentioning for those unaware that the budget year runs from October through September.

There have been stark criticisms pointed at the federal government for this surplus spending but it’s not always easy to calculate your way while operating a gigantic country. That being said, we hope that the government can do some cost analysis and in the future, endure less deficit.

Save around $1000 Dollars On Your Tax Bill

Image Credits

2015 might have come and gone and you might have spent more than you wanted to and you might think that there isn’t much that you can do to reduce the spending effect but if it’s your tax bill that you are worried about, know that there is still time.

Save on your tax bill:

If you are an employee who likes to save for your retirement through a government funded account, then you can put your money in there and save a lot of money on your tax bill. It does differ on the basis of tax rate, but an IRA contribution made at the last minute can help you in saving thousands. Here’s how:

The bigger your tax bracket is, the more you will save. You can contribute up to 5500 dollars to an IRA and can defer the payment of income tax. You will be able to either make your tax bill lower or get an increase the refund that you are owed. Another thing to remember is that if you are over 50 then you can get an even better deal. If you contribute around 1000 dollars or more to an IRA, it will get you a bigger deduction. For example, if you are 55 and you fall in the 25 percent tax bracket; your 6500 dollar contribution is going to help you reduce 1625 dollars.

Another way to get a tax break is via your spouse’s IRA. All you have to do is open two accounts, each on the name of one spouse.

An important thing to note in this regard is that the deadlines differ in every state. So if you are planning to save some money, make sure that you act late but not too late because you don’t want the deadline to end.

Federal Government set to spend 4 billion on auv development

Federal Government set to spend 4 billion on autonomous vehicle development

autonomous vehicleThe federal government rarely goes all out on funding technological ventures but they have decided to fund the autonomous vehicle development programs heavily, as indicated by the budget reports. A lot of states across the union have been encouraging car makers to design the perfect autonomous vehicle capable of traversing the American roads without any flaw or incompetency. It’s worth mentioning here that US is indeed a big name when it comes to designing and testing the technology required to design such vehicles.

Federal government will fund the autonomous vehicle development:

The CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk recently said that specifically California is the go-to place if you want to check out the latest developments in the autonomous vehicle development department. However, he also readily agreed that there is still need for a lot of enhanced advancements in order for the venture to produce goods that can be considered perfect.

Obama has listened to Musk’s addresses apparently and has realized the importance of developments in this paradigm. He has shown great interest in making great investments in the transportation system that is equipped to support the humans of the 21st century.

The U.S. transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has acted on the commitment the government made by announcing a 10 year program that could be worth around 4 billion dollars dedicated for accelerating the autonomous vehicle development program and this is excellent news for each and every single one of us.

Even though, the autonomous vehicles were in the beginning targeted at a smaller niche of disabled people, now it’s becoming hugely popular among people from all demographics. This huge dedication of government funds to the program highlight the fact that the government too is aware of the importance of success in this domain. Here’s hoping that we see tangible success soon.

Not affiliated with The United States Office of Personnel Management or any government agency