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If you or someone you know was affected by the Marshall Fire in Colorado, the Boulder Disaster Assistance Center is open every day from 9AM-7PM. Anyone can go there to receive any form of assistance needed - help filing claims, help with food, COVID tests, anything at all. If you're a Fed in need of support, PMA's official charity, FEEA, provides disaster relief.
If you'd like to donate or volunteer to help those in need, those efforts are centralized by the Boulder County government online. You can find information about how to donate money, gift cards, food, and supplies, or sign up to volunteer.
The Individual and Business Master Files (IMF, BMF) celebrate their 60th birthday this year! PMA wants to help Congress and the American public appreciate how badly the IRS needs modernization funding. Part of our IMF/BMF@60 campaign will feature facts and context to help frame the true age of our primary computing database.
The IMF/BMF is the oldest computing database still in operation in the government, a final relic of the Kennedy administration. The same year, pull tabs for soda cans were introduced and the first Walmart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas. We are still using that very same computing database and programming language today.
It's a new year but Congress left much of its 2021 work to linger through the holidays. Our current focus is on getting the Build Back Better Act moving through the Senate once more. The bill contains historic funding for the IRS - $80 billion - which would allow the Service to modernize and replenish staffing. The Senate majority all support the IRS funding provision so our work is to be sure that priority isn't lost and to help our partners in the Senate find a compromise that gets the bill passed into law.
We are also tracking the Constitutional Accountability Act, HR 6327, which would make it easier for individuals to bring suits against federal law enforcement officers and agencies. While we support the spirit of the legislation, we are concerned that the definitions it uses to define 'federal law enforcement' are overly broad and should be amended to be sure that IRS workers are not caught up in unwarranted litigation. We are reaching our to our colleagues at the National Association of Assistant US Attorneys and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association to work on more thoughtful bill text for Congress to consider.
We finally have the implementation rules from OPM for the Elijah E. Cummings Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act and they are posted for public comment through February 4th. This PMA-supported law was signed in January 2021 and it encourages agencies to take action against federal employees who are found to be responsible for “intentional” acts of discrimination or retaliation, and be more transparent with the public when such incidents are adjudicated. Per the proposed rules, agencies will be required to post notifications on their public-facing websites each time they are found to have discriminated or retaliated against an employee.
PMA's 2022-23 merit scholarship program application period is underway. Students can start an application anytime and must submit no later than our deadline: Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 3:00pm Eastern. PMA awards ten $2,000 scholarships annually and we are proud to do so for another school year.
The PMA National Board expanded our scholarship program's eligibility for the first time to include grandchildren of eligible members. Eligible students are PMA members, PMA members' spouses, and their children, step-children, or grandchildren. Students who are children may be high school seniors or already in college and must be under age 25 and unmarried. All students must have an unweighted, cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; be in or entering a degree-granting program at an accredited institution; be a full-time student (only PMA members may be part-time); and, PMA member sponsors must have at least 3 years of service by the application deadline.
For complete program information, downloadable program instructions, and a link to the application, please visit PMA's official charity and scholarship partner FEEA, www.feea.org/scholarships.
President Biden's pay recommendation - a 2.7% increase - went into effect at the start of the new year. You can review the OPM Locality Tables for your POD to get a sense of what to expect. In addition, the IRS released its performance-based increase values for managers: Outstanding 7%; Exceeded 4.4%; Met 2.5%; Not Met/Minimally Satisfactory 2.2%.
Visit the IRS Payband Resource Center to find 2022 payband computations.
The Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce issued updated isolation and quarantine guidance after the CDC's announcement which generally shortens the timeframes one must isolate after testing positive for COVID-19. We will keep you updated once the SFWT publishes new FAQs on this topic.
In some parts of the country, it's become very difficult to locate tests and the government is opening testing centers to help in some areas. We're also aware of the administration's plan to set up a website through which you will be able to order a complimentary at-home test which will be delivered by the USPS. Some members have recommended using Now In Stock, a site that alerts you when products are back in-stock for purchase. This may help you locate supplies, like rapid tests or medical-grade masks, which are hard to find.
This month, the moratorium on vaccine mandate-related discipline ends so those who are not in compliance will begin to receive memos. It's never too late to begin your vaccine series - to find a vaccine appointment near you, visit www.vaccines.gov or www.vacunas.gov.
For some of you, this is your first month of retirement - congratulations! Friend of PMA and federal benefits expert Tammy Flanagan published an article yesterday that we wanted to be sure you read. Her piece will help you understand how lump sum annual leave checks are computed and issued, whether the historic 2021 COLA will impact your pension payment, and when to expect that first retirement deposit.
Did you know that the 60th Combined Federal Campaign is wrapping up? Ending next week on January 15th, the CFC is the world's largest and most successful workplace charitable giving program. Please consider supporting PMA's official charity, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA).
FEEA is the only charity dedicated to supporting Federal workers through financial hardships, emergencies, disasters, and more. FEEA also provides generous scholarships to the Federal workforce and their families. FEEA supports PMA by administering our very own scholarship program. During the pandemic, FEEA has given additional assistance to families in need of K-12 tutoring and bereavement support and resources to families directly impacted by COVID-19.
Learn more about FEEA. FEEA is CFC #11185. You can sign up to give online. You can hear more about CFC from Vice President Harris and OPM Director Ahuja.
In November, we announced that the PMA National Board voted to adopt a small increase in dues for 2022. You will see dues increase by $1 per pay period, beginning in Pay Period 1. We're proud to keep dues affordably priced at just $4.50 per pay period. At the same time, we want your PMA membership to be more valuable to you than ever and we've taken steps to modernize our association and to increase our impact both within the IRS and on Capitol Hill.
In addition to the benefits you've long enjoyed, we launched our new website and member portal, we debuted our new grassroots legislative engagement tool, and we expanded our very popular scholarship program to include members' grandchildren. We also formed new relationships with WAEPA to help members find an affordable alternative to FEGLI and with American Benefits Exchange to help members make the most of their federal benefits. Next week, we will launch an academic partnership which will provide access to affordable undergraduate and graduate education to all our members and their families. Behind the scenes, we've been working tirelessly to improve our databases and records systems so that PMA can be an association for the 21st century. We are incredibly proud of our new consultative agreement with the IRS, formalizing our relationship with our agency for the first time in our 40-year history of advocacy. We've also become more engaged in Washington and tell your story everyday to legislators and their staffs in our quest to secure badly needed resources for our agency. We still have more to do but we wanted to highlight what we've been able to accomplish in 2021.
PMA is the only membership association dedicated exclusively to the Internal Revenue Service. Our National Board and Chapters are led by current, active IRS leaders and PMA's Executive Director is himself a former IRS manager. We know how challenging it can be to lead within the Service and we are proud to serve you. We also work hard for you in retirement and encourage you, or anyone you know, to consider purchasing a lifetime membership. Lifetime memberships are available to retirees for a one-time payment of $125.