There had been rumblings all week of what the White House's budget would mean for federal retirees.

Odds are they won't be that happy with the result.

The Office of Management and Budget's summary tables for the fiscal 2018 plan outline more than $4 billion in cuts to federal employee retirement benefits this year.

As expected the White House budget calls for eliminating cost-of-living adjustments for all employees in the Federal Employee Retirement System and cutting the COLA rate by 0.5 percent for those in the Civil Service Retirement System, saving an estimated $524 million in fiscal 2018.

Another $1.7 billion will come from increasing federal employee contributions 1 percent a year over the next six years to match the government contribution rate, while another $1.875 billion will come from other moves, including basing retirement benefits on the average of the highest five years of salary.

The White House calculates that over the next decade, the moves will reduce deficit spending by $62.9 billion.

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said in a May 23 press conference that the changes to retirement benefits were a reflection of the White House’s shift toward market parity.

"Simply put, we try and make federal retirement close to the private sector," he said. "So we increased the contribution that they make to their 401K programs.

"One program, I think we got rid of the cost-of-living adjustment that was there. But keep in mind, those are folks who will also be participating in Social Security at the same time, which is cost-of-living adjusted. So we thought they were common sense reforms to try and bring federal government programs closer to the private sector."

But several federal employee groups immediately attacked the move, saying that eliminating COLAs will cost retirees tens of thousands.

"This is nothing more than punishment for those who have served their country through federal service and a broken campaign promise to protect retirement security," said Richard Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, in a statement.

"At the height of hypocrisy, the budget promotes tax cuts yet forces a tax on mostly middle-class federal employees through an increase in retirement contributions. I remind the president that federal employees are taxpayers, too."

Federal Managers Association National President Renee Johnson called the budget a "slap in the face" of federal employees.

"It is duplicitous to claim a campaign promise to not touch retirements, then tout cuts to feds' retirement as one of the top four ways to save money in this request," Johnson said in a statement. "The massive increase to employee contributions is a broken promise and a titanic tax increase on hard-working public servants."

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., attacked the budget not only for the cuts, but also where the White House does spend, namely the $2.6 billion in funding in fiscal 2018 on the proposed border wall.

"It's a dystopian vision that will lead to the very carnage he described in his inaugural jeremiad," Connolly in a statement.

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