Late last night, Congress passed a continuing resolution which funds the government through February 18th. We expect the President to sign the bill into law, averting a shutdown over the weekend. This leaves the debt ceiling as the highest priority unfinished business this week and we continue to wait for the Senate to act on the Build Back Better legislation, which will provide the IRS with historic levels of new funding if passed.
PMA wishes all our members who celebrate the Festival of Lights a warm and healthy holiday. May the light shine every day of your life!
Back by popular demand! Join PMA's newest partner, American Benefits Exchange, on December 7th at 3PM Eastern to learn how to maximize your federal benefits. Out of the more than two million individuals employed by the Federal Government, it is quite possible that you could have important questions regarding your federal benefits. A limited understanding of FEGLI, your Pension, Survivors Annuity, FEHB, Social Security and Thrift Savings Plan could cost you thousands of dollars during your working career, and even larger amounts of money during your retirement. This webinar will include provide much needed information so you can understand your current situation, what things cost, how those costs change over time, how you are trending towards retirement, and the additional options available to you. This free event is open to everyone - register today!
The IRS is offering complimentary unconscious bias training via SABA in December. This session will help attendees identify and overcome their unconscious biases in providing assistance to multilingual customers. Multilingual assistance and how our diverse workforce and taxpayers are treated has been very important to PMA and we encourage all our members and their teams to take advantage of this important training event.
The Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce (SFWT) determined that it is prudent to delay suspensions and removals relating to EO 14043 until January and February, respectively. This aligns with existing IRS culture to hold off on some disciplinary actions during the holiday season. This morning, the IRS stated its intention to comply with the SFWT determination and will resume vaccine mandate enforcement in January.
The great news is that IRS workers have done a phenomenal job of complying with the mandate - either by being vaccinated or by seeking an appropriate exemption. The IRS is among a rare few agencies across the government that can report a 98% compliance rate. Fortunately, this means few people will be impacted by the disciplinary process and, more importantly, it means that our workplace will be much safer for a return to work when the time is right to do so.
On December 8-10, the 2021 Senior Executives Association (SEA) Federal Leadership Summit is the Federal government’s premier leadership development and policy gathering that invites attendees to Embrace Change and Lead Transformation.
Throughout the last 18 months, with an increase and emphasis on an evolving hybrid and digital world, organizations have learned that human skills of leadership, communication, emotional intelligence, etc. are key to organizational and employee success. Today’s Government leaders are being challenged to meet this new work dynamic head on - which requires different ways of
thinking and being.
The Summit attracts senior Federal executives, as well as rising leaders to…
-Discuss cutting edge practices, policies, initiatives, technologies, and more that are shaping the government landscape for the future.
-Learn from experts about new leadership education and training techniques.
And through evocative keynote speakers, breakout panel discussions, engaging thought leadership presentations, curated workshops, and a dynamic virtual experience, the virtual leadership summit will provide attendees with the tools, resources, and ideas to thrive in this volatile and ever-changing world.
Read the full summit agenda and purchase tickets. PMA members and IRS workers enjoy 20% off of registration with promo code SEAPartner20. The session recordings will be available to registrants in case live attendance conflicts with your schedule.
Last week, the Office of Management and Budget and the President’s Management Council launched the Biden-Harris administration’s Management Agenda Vision. The document is part of a government-wide effort to improve management and administration. The management agenda will be centered around the following priorities: strengthening the federal workforce; delivering equitable services and customer experiences; and improving federal acquisition and financial management systems.
Under the first priority, specific strategies include: attracting and hiring the most qualified federal employees who reflect the country’s diversity; ensuring employees are supported, empowered, and have the ability to join a union; reimagining what the workplace looks like based on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic; and building the personnel system necessary for the federal government to remain the model employer. The report on the management vision notes that “today less than 7% of the federal workforce is under the age of 30 and nearly 28% of federal employees are eligible to retire in the next five years.” Therefore, due to the anticipated retirements and increasing need for new skills “this is a significant risk to our mission effectiveness and the long-term health of federal agencies.”
PMA is excited to get to work with the administration on advancing these proposals, in helping to bring our members' perspectives to the table while OMB continues to formulate strategies, and we look forward to Acting Director Shalanda Young's confirmation so we can work more closely with her and her team to promote the interests of IRS managers while striving to make the IRS the best place to lead in the government.
Federal benefits open season ends on December 13th - only 11 days remaining. As a reminder, PMA members get complimentary access to the Consumers' Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees. The guide is an interactive tool to help you model and forecast your upcoming medical expenses and will help you choose the best plan for your situation. We sent out an exclusive link to members only on November 8th and November 22nd - be sure to look for it and take advantage of this valuable tool. Can't find our email? No problem! Send us a message today and we will get you the information you need.
This summer, our National Board of Directors amended our bylaws to align their board terms with our fiscal year, which makes filing our Form 990 much simpler and has the added benefit of allowing us to schedule elections after the filing season ends. This way, we can ensure all our members can participate in voting and give individual directors an opportunity to transfer knowledge when we welcome a new person to our leadership team.
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've been proud of our ability to keep dues affordably priced at just $3.50 per pay period for more than 10 years and we now need to adjust dues to account for inflation. We hope you will understand. 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 this year and to increase our impact both within the IRS and on Capitol Hill.
In addition to the benefits you've long enjoyed, this year 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. Soon, 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 $100 through December 31st. In January, we will continue to offer lifetime memberships for $125.