Eye Opener: New help for feds serving in the military
Happy Wednesday! The federal government is reminding agencies to pay workers the difference between their military and civilian pay when they get called for National Guard or Reserve duty.
Lawmakers approved a new law requiring the government to pay "reservist differentials" as part of last Spring's omnibus appropriations bill. Military pay to reservists and national guardsmen is often well below civilian government salaries, meaning feds and their families suffer financial hardship during tours of duty.
In an effort to ease the burden and ensure agencies are paying eligible workers, the Office of Personnel Management briefed human resources officials from across the government about the law last Friday. Agencies that have not been paying reservist differentials since the last passed in mid-March should retroactively pay eligible employees, OPM said.
The new law is packed with tricky details: Guidance from OPM runs 29 pages -- lengthy even by their standards. That's partly because OPM has to coordinate pay for reservists and guardsmen from all three branches of government -- extending the agency well beyond its normal reach. The measure also requires OPM to compare military pay and benefits with civilian basic pay -- an apples to oranges comparison because the military and civilian agencies use different different payment methods and timetables.
Confused about the process? Wonder if you qualify? Check out OPM.gov/reservist for more information on how to determine pay for eligible reservists or guardsmen.
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