President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget seeks a major reduction of retirement benefits for the nation’s federal workforce. If the Republican president gets his way, federal retirement benefits will be cut by more than $4 billion in the coming year and by nearly $63 billion over the coming decade. It’s not all bad news for the federal workforce: The 2.2 million civilian federal workers are in line to receive a 1.9 percent pay raise next year, slightly more than previous pay hikes, and Trump has proposed a six-week paid parental leave program that would be available to federal workers, as well as others.
Sears will now pay $100 million in July, instead of the full amount. Sears' situation grew even more dire this month as the company revealed that some suppliers are trying to cancel contracts and cut back on orders amid fears that the retailer could soon go bankrupt. Sears says the new financing deals will help it reach its goal of reducing outstanding debt and pension obligations by $1.5 billion for fiscal 2017.
Lower mortgage rates are helping more homeowners refinance and reduce their monthly payments, but they are not providing much incentive to homebuyers, who are finding few affordable listings. Total mortgage application volume increased 4.4 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. A drop in interest rates to the lowest level since November pushed refinance volume higher by 11 percent for the week.