Federal Workforce Proposals May Catch Ride on Defense Bill

As the new Congress gets underway, many senate members are introducing federal workforce-related proposals. Some of these proposals have a good chance of being enacted, but they will need your help to make it happen. The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, is a proposal that has a good chance of being enacted this year. This bill authorizes funding for the Department of Defense, and it’s been amended in the past to include workforce-related proposals.

Why the DoD Authorization Bill is a ‘Must-Pass’ Bill

This year, lawmakers are preparing to fight over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes the Department of Defense funding. The bill is always a “must-pass” legislation, as it provides the resources and framework for the Pentagon to carry out its activities. But this year is different. In addition to the usual disagreements over funding levels and military policy, lawmakers are also trying to attach a range of proposals that have made some progress. These proposals include measures to improve the federal workforce, such as increasing pay and improving benefits.

Suggested Amendments

Recently, Senate management consented to permit discussion of the following amendments in the law.

  • Raise the death benefit for federal workers murdered in the line of employment from $10,000 to $100,000 and increase it yearly with the inflation rate. Additionally, raise funds for funeral costs from $800 to $8,000, likewise with inflation adjustments.
  • Specify that we assume workers’ compensation benefits and brought on specific circumstances to buy jobs for federal workers who participated in fire safety duties. And they should also believe that the employee’s impairment or death is the outcome of a personal injury suffered while performing their duties.
  • Preserve the unique retirement benefits of federal first responders with medical issues by letting them continue under the special retirement provisions if the employers can place them in another post outside of that system after getting back to work from a work-related illness or injury.
  • Increase the use of special recruiting powers, including direct-hire authority, short-term appointments, and employment of fresh graduates. Besides, develop or extend pilot programs focused on solving agencies’ challenges with IT field hiring and retention.

Final Words

In short, we often see the annual DoD authorization bill as a vehicle for proposals that have made some progress but have yet to be enacted. In 2023 many federal workforce-related proposals have been attached to the bill as it comes to a vote in the Senate.

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For over 30-years Joe Carreno of The Retirement Advantage has been a Federal Employee Retirement System specialist (FERS) as well as a Florida Retirement System specialist (FRS) independent advocate. An affiliate of PSRE (Public Sector Retirement Educators), a Federal Contractor & Registered Vendor to the Federal Government, also an affiliate of TSP Withdrawal Consultants.

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