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Federal Employees News Digest : Aug 26, 2013
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org What's Inside44 AUGUST 26, 2013 • VOL. 63, NO. 6 Counter dramatizes skills lost to retirement A tidal wave of retirements among federal employees is adding up to a huge, and ultimately expensive, loss of insti- tutional knowledge---nearly 930 million days of experience since Jan. 1, according to a major federal employee organization that is spotlighting the problem. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association has done an analysis of Office of Personnel Management statistics, and says the retirements add up to more than 10,000 years of federal work experience leaving for good each day. Retirement counter The group recently placed on its web- site a retirement "clock" with a coun- ter that spins rapidly, dramatizing the increased speed of retirements---up 30 percent over last year, according to Office of Personnel Management statistics. "How many days of federal work expe- rience has America lost in 2013?" a head- line above the counter asks. The clock uses a formula that com- bines OPM data about new retirement claims and average worker experience--- about 28 years---in order to calculate "the growing loss of institutional knowledge," Jessica Klement, legislative director for the organization, told FEND. "Since the beginning of this year, more than 82,000 new retirement claims have been filed," she said. "NARFE's retirement wave clock highlights the institutional knowledge lost every second due to the high rate of retirement among federal employees since the beginning of this year," Klement said. "Since January, America has lost more than 2 million years of federal worker experience." "The ticker is meant to draw atten- tion to the fact that all the cheap shots Congress is taking at the federal work- force is having an impact on institutional knowledge," Klement told FEND. Causes and solutions The group---like other federal employ- ee organizations---cites the long federal pay freeze, cuts in benefits, unfair treat- ment by press and others, and most recently the sequester's further degrada- tion of federal pay, all as factors in the spike in retirements. Action by Congress and the president that directly addresses these problems is the only way to turn things around, the group said. NARFE has emphasized, for example, how helpful soon-to-be permitted par- tial---or phased---retirement could be to senior feds, and to agencies who need to retain their skills and experience. "Phased retirement would go a long way in helping to stem the tide," Klement told FEND. "Unfortunately, it looks like the earliest it will be an option would be at the end of the year. And even then, there's nothing forcing agencies to utilize it. We at NARFE believe phased retire- ment could be the deciding factor in stemming this wave of retirements." Feds have had enough "Many NARFE members have told us they are fed up with doing the jobs Tempting targets Federal agencies---and their employees---have become favorite targets of hackers, ranging from crooks in the Ukraine, to scammers in the United States to mem- bers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. In some cases, the crooks want to know who you are, or where you live. And how much you make, and your Social Security number, etc. Just last week, the Energy Department was hacked. A couple of years ago, the target was the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, where identify thieves got lots of information from the Thrift Savings Plan account data of thousands of feds, some in some very sensitive jobs. Who would want that? Think about it! Washington is a town where govern- ment service is often a family affair. My mother started as a GS 2 at the then brand-new Pentagon. She retired as a GS 14 which, as they said back in the day, wasn't bad for a woman. My father, whom I barely knew, was a meat- cutter with the Agriculture Department. I broke the line, sort of. I know a number of government workers whose siblings are also G-men/ women. And people whose parents, chil- dren and---in two cases---grandparents are also feds. This is also probably true INSIGHT BY MIKE CAUSEY continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • Health plan would rely on Medicare 3 • In Brief 4 • Legal Matters 5 • Informed Investor 7 • Federal Benefits Q&A 8 continued on page 3
Aug 19, 2013
Sep 2, 2013