The Sequestration-mandated across-the-board budget cuts are upon us soon and nearly every agency has plans for some type of administrative employee furlough.
If we get to the point where we are not getting paid for one or two days per pay period, in addition to the obvious immediate loss of pay, there are other issues that arise from administrative furloughs.
Here are answers to common questions about our upcoming one- or two-day per-pay-period furloughs: (answers are relevant for up to 22 discontinuous workdays)
1) This reduction in your take-home pay will have no effect on the calculation of your High-3 for retirement.
2) The days that you were furloughed (up to 180) still count as service credit towards retirement.
3) If you are above the pay cap, the reduction in your pay from working fewer day(s) will come from the "over cap" amount first. So if you are 10% over the pay cap and receive a one-day per pay-period furlough, your take-home pay will remain the same and you work just nine days. Great deal, huh? However, because there is no monetary savings achieved from placing you into furlough, your agency is allowed to exempt you from the furlough.
4) TSP - the Agency Automatic Contribution will be 1% of your lower-pay, not of your standard 10-day pay. The Agency Matching Contribution will also be a percentage of the lower-pay amount. If you are making your TSP contribution as a percentage of your pay, your contribution will also be based on the smaller furlough pay. Dollar-based contributions will remain the same as before.
5) AL and SL will continue to accrue, but after 80 hours of furlough time (10 days in ten pay periods) you will not receive an AL or SL accrual in the next pay period. For example, if you were on a one-day a pay period furlough on pay periods 10-19, in pay period 20, you would receive no AL or SL accrual.
6) You can not take AL on a scheduled furlough day to make up for the furlough day to keep your pay at the pre-furlough level.
7) FEHB, FSA, FEDVIPS, LTC and other insurance premiums will continue to be deducted as they normally are in their normal dollar amounts.
8) You can retire during this furlough period, although you can not retire on a date where you are in furlough status.