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Federal Budget Calls For Higher Pension Contributions

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Some local lawmakers are upset about the higher pension contributions required in Obama's new budget.
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Some local lawmakers are upset about the higher pension contributions required in Obama's new budget.

While some federal workers are facing furloughs and pay freezes, President Obama is also calling on them to contribute more to their pensions. Currently federal workers contribute .8 percent of their pay to their pensions, but the White House budget proposal calls for raising that to 2 percent over three years.

Federal worker advocacy groups are against the proposal, as is Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran. He says federal employees have contributed the most, and they are not in a position to fight back.

The White House claims increasing pension contributions could save $20 billion over a decade. But Moran says the savings mask a deeper problem that's already threatening the government.

"The idea of reducing their pension even further, raising their pension payments into the system, it's a disincentive to attract the quality of people that we need in the federal government," he says.

But the White House claims the proposal won't hurt the federal workforce or hinder government services.

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