Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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Retirement headline says it all

We read an article this week that detailed the rising rate of retirements among public employees. State and local, that is. In some states, workers are knocking down the doors to get out.

Although the Wall Street Journal article describes this phenomenon at the state and local level, a lot of the material in the story echoes the same anxieties that have become familiar to feds in recent months. Example: “Some workers have been required to take unpaid furlough days, and many fear they’ll lose benefits at the center of political battles.”

But it was the subhead above the top of the piece that caught our attention because it brought up an issue that seems to be missing from many of the “cut-cut-cut” arguments concerning the federal workforce floating around Washington these days. The subhead said: “Governments Save Money, but Lose Expertise.”

Seems simple enough, but we’ll bet that many of the budget-cutters in Congress advocating for a leaner, cheaper workforce are more concerned with running the numbers than examining the operational consequences.

The expertise issue was critical enough when, in the natural course of things, baby boomers began to retire at an increasing pace and take their institutional knowledge with them. But now all levels of government, including federal (think the U.S. Postal Service) are coming up with incentives to lure senior employees into retirement or introducing disincentives that make retirement appear to be the better option for those who are eligible to take it.

While we have heard for a long time about the impending brain drain as more boomers exit the federal workforce, the changing nature of public-sector employment might soon give even greater numbers of experienced senior employees a hard nudge toward the door.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Mar 25, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Mon, Apr 4, 2011 Jakob Eugene, OR

I agree with John S. in his comments of 4/2/11. We the people need to take back the government by electing regular, honest hard-working people to the offices that are up for election in 2012, and from here on out. The rich folks, who can afford these outrages campeigns, don't give a rat's behind about the middle class working stiffs who actual produce something tangible, whether a service or a manufactured item. We, the people, need to start running for these offices. We have to balance our budgets. Otherwise, we'd lose our homes, wouldn't be able to feed our families, or send our kids to college, etc. We need those kind of people in Congress, not the silver spoon morons, many of whom have never worked a day in their lives.

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 John S.

No incumbents in 2012. Just think about it. 1. Within the government, who put us in the position we're in now. 2. If they don't have to campaign, they have more time to deal with getting people back to work, the budget, the deficit, etc. 3. Elect anyone other than an incumbent. Out of work factory worker, teachers, policeman, priest, minister, farmers, construction worker, waitress, small business owner, nurse, doctor..... Incumbents are basically owned by special interest groups, corporations, unions, their political party. Where do you think we the people are in there list of important people?

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 Jim NC

I've worked DoD Civil Service for 22 years and I expect my retirement. Period. For the ones who seem to think I'm overpaid, read this. I worked as an Information Assurance Manger for seven years for $40k a year. My daughter-in-law's brother is doing the same thing out in the private sector and makes $120K. I took a cut of half what I was making in the civilian sector when I started Civil Service. Don't talk to me about being overpaid.

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 Donald L Morgan


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 ezekiel east coast

Come on Bloggers--look at the absurd timing--just prior to April 18th! Of course it is a bluff.

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