While the feared "silver tsunami" of retirements never really transpired, the government workforce is worryingly aging. More than 70% of the federal workforce is age 40 or older. In the general workforce, only 54% are 40 or older. This skewed population is not only worrisome in terms of retirements interrupting continuity, but also introduces a huge risk in terms of diversity. Younger workers may lack experience, but they bring with them a perspective that is critical in designing services and solutions that meet the needs of citizens under 40. Younger workers may also have more up-to-date training in leading-edge technologies currently being deployed across government.
The public service call of government is a huge plus for younger workers who want a job where they can make a difference and find meaning. However, the outdated, lengthy hiring process and pay scales keep many from applying. These and other recognized barriers are being addressed across government to inject youth into the federal service workforce.Continue reading →
After more than two years in federal regulation limbo, the law allowing federal employees to partially retire while continuing to work part-time for the government is finally being implemented.
Eligible federal employees can submit their applications for phased retirement beginning Nov. 6. The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday filed the 129-page final rule on the new program for publication in the Federal Register on Friday. The so-called phased retirement provision, included in the 2012 transportation reauthorization act, allows eligible feds to work 20 hours per week, receiving half their pay as well as half their retirement annuity. Those employees who enter phased retirement must devote at least 20 percent of their work time, or about 8 hours a pay period, to mentoring other employees, ideally for those who take over for them when they fully retire.
We've been hearing the warnings for years now, "The aging federal workforce will retire in droves - we need to prepare." While the "retirement tsunami" has not come to fruition (at least yet), there is still a real truth in the impact an aging workforce has on the government.
A GAO report found that the percentage of federal workers eligible to retire will roughly double by 2017. With a rough economy and general economic uncertainty, many people have deferred their retirement, but that trend seems to be changing with the retirement rate up to 3.5 percent in 2012, from 2.5 percent in 2009. What does this slower, but nonetheless meaningful, wave of retirements mean for the government and the industry partners that serve it?