More federal government employees are participating in the Federal Employees' Retirement System than ever before, bumping up contributions into the Federal Thrift Savings Plan to higher than ever levels, according to new data released by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
The data is based on an analysis of demographics for 1.6 million federal workers who participated in the Thrift Savings Plan at the end of 1994.
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board's data show more than three-fourths of eligible federal workers contributed to the program last year, up from 73.4% in 1993, and the participation rate climbed to 78.4% at the end of September 1995. Just slightly more than 44% of eligible employees participated in the program when it was started in 1987.
More than 90% of eligible employees earning $40,000 a year or more participated in the program, while nearly half of lower-paid employees also contributed.
On average, federal workers contributed 6% of pay into the Federal Employees' Retirement System in 1994, up from 5.7% the previous year, and 3.7% in 1987.
Mid- and high level employees contributed between 6.9% and 7.7% of their pay last year into the plan, while nearly half of those making more than $60,000 contributed. Under the plan, federal employees may contribute up to 10% of their paychecks.