ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Congress is again planning to freeze salaries for federal employees, which could mean NCUA will be left with an additional $12.8 million it had planned to spend on pay raises and related benefits for its 1,260 employees.

Those funds are earmarked to provide pay raises of around 5%, along with related health and retirement benefits. But the money will not be spent if Congress continues its freeze on government pay.

House Republicans are moving to freeze federal pay for a third year in a row in another attempt to rein in government spending.

The 2011 government-wide pay freeze did not apply to employees working under a collective bargaining agreement, so NCUA honored the terms of the contract it had in place with its unionized staff, which called for raises averaging about 8%. But it agreed under a new collective bargaining agreement to freeze pay in 2012 and going forward if the ongoing freeze continues.

An NCUA spokesman told Credit Union Journal yesterday if Congress does not approve the President's proposed pay increase and continues the freeze, the NCUA Board plans to return those funds at the 2013 mid-session budget review. Those funds would go toward reducing the NCUA budget instead.

The current pay freeze is in effect until March 27, and the spokesman said the agency is watching what Congress and the administration does, and plans to evaluate the impact on the agency, and respond accordingly.

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