You Got the Bonus Plan, Baby!
You Got the Bonus Plan, Baby!

There’s a lot of recent headlines regarding Federal Employee bonuses, with a corresponding amount of backlash.

Here’s last week’s screen grab from my newsreader:


In the case of the infamous Phoenix VA, if you do the math, the $10 Million was divided by 2,150 Employees over 3 years- It’s an average of $1550 per year, per employee.

This is an extreme case, but I’m sure none of the families of the deceased Veterans believe the Phoenix VA system was ‘meeting all its objectives’ in providing medical care to Veterans. Note, however, that almost 80 percent of VA execs were rated ‘Above Average’ in the last performance cycle. 

On to the EPA…In the EPA case, $667,000 went to 13 employees over 7 years – Over $50,000 per employee spread out through 7 years.  That’s a lot of dough paid to administrative specialists.

No wonder there’s been such a Congressional Backlash. These are some pretty egregious fouls.

Wow. I’ve never received a bonus that generous, even as a high-level GS employee. I usually saw a few hundred bucks per year, barely noticeable on one slightly larger pay stub once per year- And such was pretty common amongst my fellow DoD employees.  I guess other federal agencies are more flexible and/or generous with their bonuses and budges (since they don’t spend so much money on gas every year like the military does).

I guess the good news is that there is bipartisan agreement that bonuses should be trimmed. There is even a proposal for a Clawback Provision in the Senate, which would require Feds who engage in misconduct to forfeit their bonuses.

What’s the takeaway for Feds? Under sequestration (and these clear abuses of the federal pay system), I would expect bonuses to become fewer and farther between in your future. Make sure you budget accordingly over the next few years.

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