Important Information for SSA Employees Regarding Their October 11, 2013 Salary Payment

A Message to All SSA Employees:

As of this morning, Congress has not taken action to fund most government agencies. This means that SSA has no funds at this time to pay salaries for work performed after September 30, 2013. I want to keep you fully informed about the implications of this as it relates to your pay and benefits.

If we do not receive an appropriation today (Monday, October 7), we only will be able to issue salary payments covering the period September 22 through September 30. Our payroll provider will generate salary payments based on time and attendance records through September 30.  For most employees, this will be for 48 hours (60%) of your normal work tour plus any overtime worked prior to October 1. The Office of Personnel Management has a standard order of precedence that payroll offices must follow in taking salary deductions when gross pay is not sufficient to permit all deductions.

Generally, if sufficient money is available:

  • Retirement deductions, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and Federal, state, and local income taxes will be calculated based on the reduced pay.
  • Full deductions will be withheld for Federal Employee Health Benefits, Basic Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) premiums, and court-ordered amounts (federal debts first followed by other court-ordered collections such as child support, alimony, etc.).
  • If you are currently making Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions based on a dollar amount of your pay, that dollar amount will remain the same if there is enough pay available to cover it when deductions are made.  If you are making TSP contributions based on a percentage of your salary, the contribution will decrease proportionately according to your earnings for the pay period.  Regardless of your method of TSP contribution, Agency Automatic (1%) and Agency Matching Contributions (up to 4%) will decrease proportionately according to your earnings for the pay period.

To the extent that monies remain:

  • Optional benefits (FEDVIP, dental, FEGLI optional premiums, etc.), TSP loan payments, and discretionary allotments (savings accounts, car payments, etc.) will also be withheld.

We expect salary deposits to be in bank accounts on Friday, October 11, as normal.
Health and life insurance coverage will continue in full, even if there is insufficient money to pay your premiums this pay period.  Any missed premiums will be collected at a later time once we return to normal operating status.

The balance of any salaries owed to excepted employees for hours worked during the shutdown and for the time furloughed employees spent conducting shutdown activities will be paid as soon as possible once an appropriation is enacted.

I know that a reduced paycheck may impose a great financial burden on many of you. Furloughed employees should have already received a letter that may be used to notify creditors of the special circumstances created by the lack of an appropriation. Excepted employees may obtain a copy from their on-duty manager.

Furloughed employees should also be reminded that they may be eligible to apply for unemployment compensation, if they have already not done so (though any compensation received will have to be repaid if Congress authorizes retroactive salary for all employees).

Pay-related questions may be directed to your local Payroll Liaison Staff once the furlough has ended or via email to DCHR.OPE.PMISPS.Payroll.Inquiries@ssa.gov.
I will share further information with you as soon as it becomes available.

/s/
Reginald Wells
Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources