Weekly Updates

Roth TSP Webinars, PLI Reimbursements, Open Season, & Other Updates

October 22, 2021
Roth TSP & Roth IRAs - RSVP Now

Join us on either Wednesday, October 27th, at 2PM Eastern or Thursday, October 28th, at 3PM Eastern, to learn more about Roth IRAs and Roth TSP accounts. These options can provide important, tax-free sources of income for you or your heirs and we don't want our members to miss out on this important information. You will learn about the tax benefits of Roth accounts, how to produce tax-free benefits and tax-free distributions, how to fund your Roth account strategically from a Traditional IRA through conversions without going into a higher tax bracket, and how to make the most of the new TSP withdrawal options to make systematic Roth conversions. Members can RSVP for either Wednesday or Thursday and learn more.

As a reminder, PMA members can contact Wade to set up a personal consultation to review your financial situation ahead of retirement. Many PMA members find this to be one of their most favorite benefits.

Support PMA's Official Charity Through the CFC

Did you know that the 60th Combined Federal Campaign is underway? Beginning on September 1st and running through January 15, 2022, 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.

Professional Liability Insurance Reimbursements

It's a new fiscal year and so it's time to submit your requests for your professional liability insurance (PLI) reimbursements from the IRS. Because agencies are not mandated to represent managers if they are sued in the course of their work, PMA strenuously recommends that all managers and management officials carry a professional liability insurance policy. Through our partnership with FEDS Protection, PMA members get a discount annually. In addition, the IRS will pay for 50% of your premium through this annual reimbursement process.

To submit your reimbursement request, complete this form and then submit it via e-fax to 855-207-0460 or you can submit the form via secure email. During the pandemic, the Philadelphia Payroll Center is not processing paper forms received by mail. Read more.

Don't yet carry a PLI policy? It's easy to sign up today. Members can use code PMA (case sensitive) for exclusive savings. If you'd like to learn more, we will host an informational webinar about this important coverage on November 18th. More information below.

Age Discrimination - Four Things You Need to Know

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers age 40 and older from workplace discrimination based upon their age. That's something to keep in mind when addressing or discussing millennials. Even though they are thought of as perpetually young, the oldest members of that generation (born 1981-1997) are turning 40 this year. While age discrimination isn't something for members of the generation to look forward to, it is something for which they, and all our members, should be prepared.

1. While firing someone or declining to hire someone because of their age are two obvious forms of age discrimination, this type of bias can take many forms. If you find yourself being passed over for certain assignments, or perhaps you see younger colleagues being sent to training which you were told wasn't in the budget, you may be facing this type of discrimination. Age bias may also occur in the form of comments by coworkers or other types of harassment in the workplace. The term “millennials” sometimes is used as a pejorative, blaming that generation for any new trends or changes in American culture - everything from the rise of avocado toast to the end of shopping malls. Now that some members of this generation are old enough to be protected by the ADEA, comments blaming such things on millennials soon may no longer be acceptable on the job.

2. Some industries are worse than others when it comes to age discrimination. For example, Silicon Valley has a reputation of preferring young workers, as do local news stations. However, the Civil Service has long been the model employer in striving for an age-blind hiring process. Still, we in PMA hear from members regularly who may be facing age bias at the later in their careers. While leadership absolutely has the right to inquire periodically about your retirement plans for planning purposes, if you've ever been asked repeatedly about your plans, especially in the context of seeking a special assignment, detail, or promotion, then you may need to speak with an EEO Specialist right away.

3. Age discrimination begins earlier for women. A recent study at Texas A&M found that resume rankings dropping significantly for women beginning at age 36, while men didn't experience a similar decline until their 50s. Another found a similar trend after sending out 40,000 resumes - response rates for women over 50 were markedly lower. These study emphasize the importance of age-proofing your resume. This can mean removing obvious details (graduation dates) and subtle ones (using an out-of-fashion email domain). This article includes some tips on how you can reduce age-related details on your resume.

4. You can fight back against age bias. The key to beating age bias in the workplace is understanding that you have tools that you can use to make sure you are treated fairly, whether it's through the IRS's EEO process or through pursuing external legal action. As a reminder, a valuable benefit of your PMA membership is two 30-minute consultations annually on any federal employment matter with our general counsel, Shaw Bransford & Roth. Another way to avert age bias is to proactively take steps to prevent your colleagues from thinking of you negatively as an older worker. Always continue to look for opportunities to learn new skills and expand your knowledge - and also take on new challenges. Step out of your comfort zone. Show that you still expect to climb the ladder, and you're going to do everything you need to do to be that type of employee.

Free & Low-Cost Professional Development Opportunities

Understanding Bias to Unleash Potential. Did you know that employees who perceive themselves to be the target of bias are three times more likely to be disengaged, withhold ideas, and leave their job within a year? To create thriving cultures, leaders need to face bias with courage and create spaces where everyone is respected, included, valued, and truly able to contribute their best. When leaders and team members address bias, performance increases and decision-making improves. View this complimentary one-hour presentation from FranklinCovey to learn more about the impact of bias on behaviors, decisions and performance; a tightly integrated model for making progress on bias in your organization; the three bias traps that our brains are constantly facing; and how to shift from a compliance-based approach to diversity training to a more practical, action-oriented approach grounded in behaviors. Free and open to all.

Join PMA's General Counsel, Shaw Bransford & Roth, for a presentation on the groundbreaking decision in Santos v. NASA on November 3rd at 1PM Eastern. On March 11, 2021, in a landmark opinion, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, contrary to decades of MSPB rulings, the plain language of a statutory provision of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 required the agency to establish that an employee had unsatisfactory performance both before and during the PIP. Federal managers never before have had to justify a PIP and this presentation will help you understand the practical use and implications of this case for the workforce. Open to all. Tickets are $38, learn more.

Change the date: November 18th at 3PM Eastern. Join PMA's partner FEDS Protection for an overview of the professional liability risks facing IRS managers, how recent case law and a first-of-its-kind vaccine mandate can leave career managers exposed to lawsuits, and how you can protect yourself. Open to all and PMA members receive discounts on FEDS products. More information to follow.

Join MARCH Mediation on December 3rd at 11AM Eastern to learn more about "The Impact of Forgiveness on Your Mental Health." Dawn Kuhlman will share the results of her research into the nexus of self-forgiveness and forgiveness of others and the implications of the findings on both intra- and interpersonal relationships. She will also discuss the forgiveness process and how to move forward, explore the impact of not forgiving, and differentiate the internal processes of self-forgiveness from forgiveness of others. Free and open to all. Registration and Zoom account required.

2021 FEVS Begins Next Month

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last week announced that it will begin administering the 2021 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) during the first week of November. The government-wide survey asks workers about their views on work, agencies, leadership and more. According to OPM, core questions on the 2021 survey will be similar to those on the 2020 FEVS, including pandemic-related questions. Invitations to participate in the survey will be sent in two waves and will be open for five weeks.

PMA encourages all eligible members to take the survey and respond candidly about conditions in the workplace, and in particular, their agency’s actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. FEVS responses are confidential.

Senate Releases FY22 IRS Funding Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee released the House Financial Services and General Government Committee's bill to fund the IRS for FY22. PMA praised Chairman Leahy for proposing $13.6 billion for the agency, slightly more than the $13.2 billion sought by Commissioner Rettig. PMA is still advocating for stable, multi-year budget authority for the IRS, as well as historic infrastructure investments to help retire the IMF/BMF, which will celebrate its 60th birthday in 2022. Read a summary of the bill.

Weekly updates