Defense

March 6, 2013

Time now to get smart on sequestration, furlough

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notified Congress recently that should sequestration occur, the Department of Defense will initiate furlough for its 800,000-plus civilian employees. Congressional notification is required at least 45 days from a planned furlough, with implementation anticipated for late April, Air Force officials said.

“The potential for sequestration-driven furlough continues to be a sensitive topic of discussion,” said Robert Corsi, Air Force Assistant Deputy Chief Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services. “It has headlined every news product for months, and Air Force leaders at every level are working to determine how to minimize negative impact on people and the mission.”

In the event of sequestration, furlough will be implemented across the Department of Defense, with all the services working with the Department to execute furloughs similarly, including how and when employees will be notified (subject to applicable laws, regulations and collective bargaining agreements).

“DOD-wide, installation leaders are discussing furlough impact with union representatives to determine the most effective, least disruptive way to implement furlough, should it become necessary,” Corsi said.

If implemented, civilians will be furloughed for no more than 16 hours per pay period. In addition to duty hours and pay impact, furlough will affect employees in other areas, including benefits.

“I encourage all airmen to study the guidance on furlough and ask questions to be sure you understand how you’re affected, or how your employees are affected,” Corsi said. “Civilians – especially those relatively new to service – will turn first to their supervisors for explanations and guidance.”

To learn more go to the myPers site at https://mypers.af.mil and enter “Civilian: Furlough Home Page” in the search window. For other furlough information, visit the Office of Personnel Management site at www.opm.gov.

Civilian airmen must also be aware of the impact on leave accrual, benefits and Thrift Savings Plan contributions, particularly if they are planning vacations or nearing retirement, he said.

According to Office of Personnel Management guidance, the accumulation of non-pay status hours can affect the accrual of annual leave and sick leave. For example, when a full-time employee with an 80-hour biweekly tour of duty accumulates a total of 80 hours of non-pay status from the beginning of the leave year (either in one pay period, or over the course of several pay periods), the employee will not earn annual and sick leave in the pay period in which that 80-hour accumulation is reached. If an employee is furloughed for 176 hours (22 days), he or she will lose two pay periods worth of annual leave and sick leave accrual.

“Employees who have extended leave plans need to understand that they will not accrue those hours while on furlough,” Corsi said.

In addition, where TSP contributions are based on a percent of pay, employees will see a reduction in TSP contributions. Employees in the Federal Employee Retirement System will also see a reduction in agency automatic contributions and may experience a reduction in employer-matching contributions, depending on employee contribution amounts, Corsi explained.

While leaders at every level work to develop alternatives to sequestration, the possibility of a furlough must be taken seriously and airmen must be smart about the impact on their lives, the director said.

“If sequestration and furlough are averted, so much the better. In the meantime, I ask every airmen to actively prepare for the days ahead and review the information already available. I cannot overemphasize the importance of planning for a potential reduction of income,” said Corsi.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Maeson L. Elleman

Hanscom working to provide 5th, 4th gen aircraft common tactical picture

Air Force photograph by SrA. Maeson L. Elleman A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle taxis for takeoff on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Sept. 16, 2014. The Space, Aerial and Nuclear Networks Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is worki...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Staci Miller

Australian F-35 lands at new home

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Staci Miller The first Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II jet arrives at Luke Air Force Bas, Ariz., Dec. 18, 2014. The jet’s arrival marks the first international partner F-35 to a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>