Big Changes in Federal Worker Benefits on the Horizon


Jeff Pon, the new OPM director is preparing to make big changes in federal employee benefits, federal pay scale, and workplace policies. Pon has set the groundwork for this shift by boosting the profile of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council (CHCO).

Federal Employment

He stated in a recent memo that the needs of the 21st-century workforce must be met with active management, by creating agile operations and recruiting top talent. Considering extensive civil service reforms, efforts to modernize information technology and adjustments to several federal employee benefits, the aid of the most seasoned management officials in human capital initiatives is needed.

The Chief Human Capital Officers Council (CHCO)

The CHCO oversees implementing such government-wide policies. It is made up of mostly chief human capital officers (HR directors) and their subordinates from independent agencies and Cabinet departments. Some CHCO positions are filled solely on an acting basis.

Pon believes that the role of the council should be assigned to a senior level federal employee with extensive experience. This individual must be someone who has earned the trust of an agency head or Secretary and who serves a vital role on the leadership team. He also added that the CHCO should work together with the rest of the leadership team and share accountability. The agency’s accountability, bottom line performance, mission results, and the most appropriate use of taxpayer funds should be a collaborative effort. Agency heads are strongly encouraged to designate a suitable CHCO who will meet each agency’s standards.

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