DIFFERING OPINIONS AT OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM HEARING ABOUT PRIVATE/PUBLIC SECTOR COMPENSATION COMPARISON - May 19, 2017
Lawmaker Asks CBO to Respond to Critics of Federal Pay Report
By Erich Wagner, Government Executive
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked the Congressional Budget Office to respond to critiques—mostly from federal union officials and Democrats—of its methodology for calculating the compensation gap between federal workers and private sector employees in a recent report.
The report, released last month, compares the pay and benefits of federal employees and their private sector counterparts, broken down by educational attainment. CBO found that overall, total compensation for federal workers was 17 percent higher, on average, and the cost of federal benefits was 47 percent higher, on average, than for comparable private sector employees. The discrepancy in benefits stems largely from the fact that much of the federal workforce still falls under systems that include a defined benefit pension, which has mostly fallen out of practice in the private sector.