Feds retiring more slowly than expected

Federal employees who are eligible to retire are not leaving government as soon as they become eligible, putting off a long-feared “silver tsunami”—a mega-wave of retirements—according to a new university study of the federal workforce.

That’s the good news. But the bad news, according to the study, which was authored by Georgia State University, is that young people are still only trickling into federal jobs—the work is just not the powerful draw that agency H.R. managers and other recruiting experts would like to see. Indeed, the report says that “the low percentage of federal workers under 30 suggests when they do, they could create a federal workforce crisis.”

Indeed, according to the report’s authors, only 7 to 10 percent of the federal government’s white-collar workforce is under 30 years old.

“There’s been all this fear of the ‘silver tsunami’ in the federal government, and there has been a lot of talk about the percentage of employees who are eligible to retire,” said government workforce expert and study co-author Greg Lewis, a professor and chair in the Andrew Young School of Policy Study’s Department of Public Management and Policy.

“But the number of people who actually retire is many fewer than those who are eligible.”

Reader comments

Thu, Aug 18, 2016 Washington, DC

No COL if MRA is met for supplemental Social Security (can't get that till age 58 re: Sup SS though you met the MRA). Also if you are 58 and get Sup SS, along with no COL, you can't get another part time job (a hearsay) to add to pay your other expenses, as most likely the FERS only income and sup SS will not meet all expenses if living solo. The TSP can't be touched till age 62 (and you will not want the annuity, as you lose all for your children to inherit down the road, it is best to transfer it out to a 401k or Roth if you don't mind paying the cheaper taxes up front)

Wed, Jul 20, 2016

perhaps employees are waiting for a potential $40,000 buyout

Wed, Jul 20, 2016

So with this article that should mean that OPM will knock out the backlog of retirement claims in short order, right? Otherwise, why should we care that we stick around a few more years to pad our retirement?

Wed, Jul 20, 2016 Bill Leavenworth

Offer VERA/VISP, maybe the old folks will leave.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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