Much of the attention went to cuts in entitlement programs like Social Security, which are meant to make up for tax cuts and increased defense spending. Yet what many missed in the Trump budget were proposals that would affect the retirement benefits of federal workers. First, the budget requires federal employees who are part of the Federal Employees Retirement System to make larger employee contributions toward their defined-benefit program than they currently do. That leaves the federal government to contribute up to 13% in order to provide enough funding to make future pension payments. The budget seeks to equalize the amounts that workers and the government pay toward federal pensions. The method the budget uses is to increase the federal worker contribution percentage by a single percentage point each year, gradually phasing in the increase until contributions are split about 50-50 between the federal government and employees. For retirees in the Federal Employees Retirement System, the budget would eliminate cost-of-living adjustments entirely. Only a small percentage of private-sector workers get pension coverage at all, and more employers have been freezing or eliminating private pensions in favor of 401(k) plans and other defined-contribution retirement arrangements. Younger workers who are hired without such benefits have plenty of time to develop their own retirement savings plans, but when changes are made to the benefits of those who are late in their careers or already retired, there's little they can do to adjust their financial planning. The $16,122 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings.
This week, the U.S. Senate began its consideration of the RAISE (Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage) Family Caregivers Act – an important piece of legislation that would start a national conversation about ways to aid American’s greatest support system – family caregivers. Thanks to the leadership and support of Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) the bill was quickly approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee (which goes by the very appropriate acronym . . .HELP).
Every day, more than 40 million Americans across the country are caring for parents, spouses, children
and adults with disabilities and other loved ones so they can live independently in their homes and communities for as long as possible. They manage medications, help a loved one with bathing and dressing, prepare and feed meals, arrange transportation to medical appointments (or do the driving themselves), handle financial and legal matters and much, much more. Many do all of this while working full-time and raising families.
The unpaid care family caregivers provide — a staggering 37 billion hours valued at about $470 billion annually — helps delay or prevent more costly care and unnecessary hospitalizations, saving taxpayer dollars.
I know from firsthand experience that caring for a loved one is a tremendous responsibility. As my two millennial sons and I care for…