Tenn. federal retiree reaction to GOP budget: 'Enough is enough.'

Jul 24, 2017

Credit narfe.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The 87,000 retired federal employees living in Tennessee are not happy with the federal budgets proposed by the Trump Administration , or the one proposed by Congress.

The federal government reached its debt limit back in March, and ever since it’s been borrowing money from the retirement accounts of federal employees to pay its bills.

Even more concerning to federal workers, the proposed budget championed by Tennessee congressional Rep. Diane Black would reduce government contributions to their retirement accounts by another $32 billion over ten years.

Jim Glenn speaks for the Tennessee chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association . The Association represents both working and retired federal workers. He notes federal employees have already had their benefits cut several times.

“We’ve actually got three different groups of people who were hired recently paying different amounts into their retirement to get the same amount, so it adds up $120 billion, with a ‘b’ that they’ve already cut from us over the last few years.”

Glenn says people are often attracted to government jobs because the benefits are good, even when pay is below industry standard. He says having those benefits then taken away after a lifetime of service seems unfair.

“It’s enough. Enough is enough. We’re trying now to say, ‘Hey. We’ve already done our share. We don’t mind doing our share, but you shouldn’t be picking on us for everything.’”  

Glenn says that if the budget passes in its current form, federal employees will - depending on job classification - lose something between $13,000 and $23,000 toward retirement over ten years.