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Saturday, June 24, 2017

No easy way to measure federal employee compensation, CBO says

There’s no easy to way to calculate just how much government spends on federal employee compensation, and there’s no simple solution if lawmakers want to find ways to close compensation gaps between the public and private sector.

That’s the general message the Congressional Budget Office recently sent in a series of responses to the Senate Budget Committee’s questions for the record following a May hearing on “ways to run the government for less.” During that hearing, some senators focused on CBO’s latest study comparing federal employee compensation to the private sector.

CBO found a 17 percent compensation disparity between federal employees and their counterparts in the private sector, according to its April 2017 report. Moving the federal workforce to a defined contribution plan may partly close the gap between the public and private sectors, though the government wouldn’t see the savings immediately, CBO Director Keith Hall told the Senate committee back in May.

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