House and Senate Republican leadership penned a letter to President Obama offering their proposals to prevent student loan interest rates from increasing. Their plan for funding the extension? Dipping into federal workers’ retirement savings.
Signed by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Canter (R-VA), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the letter calls for a 1.2 percent increase in the amount current employees contribute toward their pensions. Phased in by increments of 0.4 percent each year through 2015, the measure would increase contributions for both Federal Employee Retirement System and Civil Service Retirement System enrollees.
This plan would hurt millions of federal employees who have already sacrificed a total of $75 billion dollars over the next decade through a two-year pay freeze and an earlier increase in retirement contributions. A second dip into their modest retirement benefit would cause a dramatic effect in communities all throughout the country, where 85 percent of federal employees live and work.
“While we adamantly support the extension of the student loan interest rate, it is simply unacceptable to expect federal workers to foot the bill,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “It is wrong for Congress to keep reaching into middle class federal employees’ pockets to pay for unrelated legislation. Federal workers and their families have sacrificed more than enough.”