I would suggest that all departments of the Federal Government offer all (no exceptions) current employees in the CSRS pension plan a one time (never to be offered again) early out retirement option with a one-time incentive bonus (40% of their base salary). These employees would have been continuously employed by since Jan 1, 1984, and have a minimum of 25 years of Federal Service towards this pension (actually 26 years). I would add that these new retirees would not (ever) be allowed to return to Civilian Federal Service as a term of this agreement.
The benefits are numerous.
- This will move a number of employees into a fixed cost (pension) to the government.
- Many of these individuals are senior staff, and are near the top of the pay scale (expensive).
- Replacement staff (new hires) could likely be brought in at up to half of the cost of the current employee cost. This lower payroll cost plus the bonus to the retiree would likely cost offset within the first two to three years.
- Most new retirees will be replaced by their direct subordinate, opening career advancement (or hope for it) within the ranks of the Federal Government. I am tired of seeing excellent employees leave for the private sector due to poor career progression (stagnation).
- New retirees would receive almost 50% (minimum) of their current salary per CSRS calculators.
- This would hopefully move most CSRS members into retirement, thus lightening the workload for all HR departments.
- Many jobs would be created, helping get people working in permanent, career track positions.
Other aspects to consider:
- New retirees could return to work in the private sector (clearly not entry level jobs) if they chose to.
- New retirees that chose to return to work could achieve (or complete) “40 good quarters” towards SSI benefits. (The Windfall Elimination Provision does have an SSI offset, but does not preclude a person from receiving those benefits.)
- Allowing new retirees the ability to continue to contribute (non-matching) to TSP as part of the “one time offer”. (Not sure on this one, but it sounds nice).
The “early optional” retirement in already offered to Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and Air Traffic Controllers at 25 years, just without the incentive bonus. Why not allow all Federal employees a one time, never to be repeated chance to retire, and afford others a chance at gainful employment (jobs) in this tough economy. If implemented, this action should not be allowed to be retroactive.
I am not in the CSRS program; I am in the FERS program. I have a long way to go. This just makes sense to me.