Federal Managers Association
In the News
- FMA NATIONAL PRESIDENT TALKS FEDERAL DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES WITH GOVEXEC - June 16, 2011
GOP lawmakers unveil bill to reduce government workforce
By Kellie Lunney and Emily Long,Government Executive
Lawmakers are seeking to cut corruption among their own ranks by denying pension benefits to members of Congress convicted of more types of felonies.
Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Rep. Robert Dold, R-Ill., this week introduced bills that would add 20 new public corruption offenses to an existing law that cancels federal pensions for convicted lawmakers. The proposals also would revoke the pensions of former members of Congress who are convicted of committing these crimes while serving as elected officials.
Under current regulations, bribery, witness tampering, wire fraud and racketeering are among the offenses that would force lawmakers to give up their retirement benefits. The proposed legislation would add obstruction of justice, solicitation of political contributions, theft or bribery related to programs receiving federal funds, tax evasion, promising political appointments, and interfering with commerce using threats or violence, among others, to the list.
"A member of Congress convicted of defrauding the public doesn't deserve to retire on the public's dime," said Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., who co-sponsored the House version of the bill. "This bill makes sure that corruption comes with a lifetime of consequences."
According to Patricia Niehaus, national president of the Federal Managers Association, federal employees who are removed from their positions for cause such as disciplinary actions, prior to retirement, will forfeit annuity eligibility. This holds true whether or not they were convicted of a felony. They would, however, receive a refund of the money they contributed to their retirement fund.
Workers convicted of a felony may be able to retain their position and their pension, however. If the crime committed does not impact the employee's job function nor require jail time, retirement benefits will not be penalized, Niehaus said.
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