Weekly Updates

Another CR, Expanded Member Benefits, Upcoming Events, and More

February 11, 2022
PMA's Newest Benefit: Education

We are so happy to announce our new university partnerships with American Military University and American Public University. We've been working behind the scenes for several months to bring you this new and exciting benefit. PMA members will receive a tuition grant for themselves and their families which reduces the price of classes to $270.75/credit hour for undergraduate courses and $351.50/credit hour for master's and graduate certificate courses. On top of that, you also benefit from a $65-per course fee waiver. When you take into account PMA's other benefits - our scholarships and professional development grants - college credits were never more affordable.

Be sure to join us on March 16th, from 2PM-3PM Eastern, for a webinar where we will hear from our new university partners, learn more about these benefits, and you will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Don't forget that it's currently PMA scholarship season! 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.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.

Can You Maximize Your Income In Retirement?

Join PMA's financial advisor, Wade Guemmer, for a complimentary webinar to review how some annuities might be a way to achieve your planning goals. Wade will also share some tips on how to protect your investments right now given the market's recent uncertainty.

This webinar will cover different types of annuities, including TSP; the pros and cons of investing in annuities; features and benefits of variable annuities; irrevocable plans vs. plans with 100% liquidity; death benefits annuities provide for your family; and some additional strategies you can take to minimize your investment risks in the very near term.

The webinar will be hosted live via Zoom on Thursday, February 17th at 3PM Eastern. Registration is free for all PMA members. To RSVP for this event, please e-mail Wade.

PMA Supports SP Managers

PMA had the privilege of providing copies of John Maxwell's How Successful People Lead: Taking Your Influence to the Next Level to all Kansas City Submission Processing managers in support of their FY22 Filing Season Kick-Off. We are grateful to Kansas City and to our Heartland Chapter for their commitment to leadership excellence. We can't wait to be a resource for you again soon! We also want to congratulate KCSP managers Kim Owen and Amy Gifford for winning gift card drawings we sponsored as part of the fun.

Are you planning an all-manager meeting or training? Feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to help. PMA is here for you!


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. As a reminder, the IRS still relies on the oldest continually operating database in the entire federal government.

Seattle's Century 21 Exhibition was a world's fair held from April 21 to October 21, 1962. Its centerpiece was Seattle's famous Space Needle. The Space Needle completed construction in December 1961 but didn't open formally until the start of the fair. In 2000, the Space Needle underwent a renovation which cost the same as its original construction in inflation-adjusted dollars. The iconic structure was again fully renovated in 2018 for $100 million, or three times its original construction cost in inflation-adjusted dollars. When we began using the IMF and BMF, the Seattle skyline had changed forever. On the other hand, we are still using a computer system which was modern at the time of the Century 21 Exposition.

Legislative News

This week, the House passed yet another Continuing Resolution (CR) which will fund the government through March 11th. This will give Congress time to finalize the 12 appropriations bills that fund the government for FY22. CRs come at great cost to government operations - particularly now in these times of rapid inflation. Inflation alone can trim $76 billion from the existing CR. Our partners in the Senate feel they have adequate bipartisan support to pass this CR which will avert a shutdown next Friday.

As part of our membership in the FedPostal Coalition, PMA advocated for passage of H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act. We were pleased to see this important legislation pass the House this week and look forward to the Senate voting on it quickly. The Senate was already considering identical legislation which enjoys wide support. The bill will save the USPS nearly $50 billion and ensures six-day delivery.

PMA's General Counsel put together a list of the top ten court cases impacting federal workers. The cases are very interesting - for example, in Miranne v. Navy, the Federal Circuit affirmed an important concept to remember: a federal employee can be fired for the content of one e-mail, if that e-mail is sufficiently disrespectful. We encourage to listen to the podcast.

Professional Development Opportunities

Change: How to Turn Uncertainty Into Opportunity. Speakers will highlight how to build individual confidence through a predictable pattern of change, ways in which leaders can successfully lead people through the human side of change, and optimizing any change management process to achieve desired results. Join PMA partner FranklinCovey for this complimentary webcast on Tuesday, February 15th, from 1PM-2PM Eastern. Open to all. Register today!

Defending Yourself Against a Subordinate's EEO Complaint. In this live webinar, an attorney from PMA's partner Shaw Bransford & Roth with a decade of experience in representing accused managers will explain the EEO process, each participant’s obligations, and what a manager should do to protect their own personal employment interests when they are contacted by an EEO counselor or investigator. This webinar will be hosted on Wednesday, March 9th, at 11AM Eastern, via ZoomGov. Registration is open to all and $25. Register today!

PMA partner the American Management Association is offering a six-part virtual series to help you develop your Excel skills. Learn PivotTables, shortcuts, how to develop PowerPoint presentations from Excel data, build dashboard reports, a become a pro at Excel's functions and formulae. Each session is roughly 90 minutes so you can complete the series in just 9 hours. The total cost is $249. If these courses will help you in your career development or advance your career learning plan, don't forget about your PMA education benefit. PMA offers grants for education to advance your career (up to $500 per member, per quarter). Email us if you have questions.

COVID Updates

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that President Biden signed on March 11, 2021, makes it much easier for federal workers diagnosed with COVID-19 to establish coverage under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. To establish a COVID-19 claim, you simply need to establish that you are a “covered employee,” meaning that:
1. You were diagnosed with COVID-19. Specifically, you were diagnosed with COVID-19 while employed in the Federal service at any time during the period of January 27, 2020 to January 27, 2023; and,
2. Your duties include any risk of exposure. Specifically, within 21 days of your diagnosis of COVID-19, you carried out duties that—
     a. required contact with patients, members of the public, or co-workers; or
     b. included a risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus.

What does this change in the law mean?

1. You are only required to establish that your duties included a risk of exposure to COVID-19. You do not have to prove you were engaged in high-risk employment; that you were actually exposed to the virus; or that you were exposed to someone who had the virus while performing your duties.
2. If you establish that you are a “covered employee,” any diagnosed COVID-19 will be deemed to have been proximately caused by your Federal employment. You no longer have to establish a causal link between your employment and your COVID-19 diagnosis.

What to do?

File a FECA claim if you meet the criteria outlined above.

Why file now? What if I think I'm ok?

If you were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 or even if you believe you just have a mild case of COVID-19, you should consider filing a COVID-19 FECA claim now even if you have fully recovered and/or had an asymptomatic infection.
• In the event you develop a consequential injury, impairment or illness later as a result of your COVID-19 diagnosis, timely filing your claim now will facilitate the processing of any future claim for any such consequential condition or impairment.
• If you wait until you experience a consequential injury or illness to file your COVID-19 claim, your claim may be subject to time limitation and you will have to establish both the initial COVID-19 claim and the consequential condition claim before benefits can begin.

Discipline related to the vaccine mandate is paused while a case makes its way through the courts. Still, 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.

Weekly updates