Bills would help retain, attract experienced federal workers

Friday - 2/27/2009, 8:04pm EST

Tim McManus

Nearly one-third of experienced federal workers can retire by 2012.

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By Brian Drew
Internet Editor,
FederalNewsRadio

The federal government is looking at incentives that will attract and retain older, more experienced workers.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, introduced two bills this week that would make it easier for agencies to do just that.

The first bill would allow federal retirees to return to the workplace without having their salaries reduced by the amount of their pension payments, and the second would grant employees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) who work part-time pro-rated credit toward their annuity payments.

A report by the Government Accountability office says that about one-third of federal workers will be eligible to retire by 2012. The report adds that nearly two-thirds of career executives and almost half of other supervisors will be eligible to retire by 2012.

"If you look some of the needs, particularly as a result of the recovery act, it's even more important that you've got people who know what they're doing in positions," Tim McManus, the Vice President of Education and Outreach at the Partnership for Public Service, tells FederalNewsRadio. "Often times you need to dig a little deeper into the talent pool, and find folks who are experienced."

McManus says that some of the challenges in bringing in new workers also exist in bringing in more experienced workers into public service.

"They want to make sure that they have meaningful, challenging work," he says. "Experienced talent is actually used to having a little more flexibility in their work, and it's interesting because government was really on the leading edge of creating a lot work place flexibilities initially"

McManus says that while the federal government needs people with experience to stay, it's still important to train and attract newer workers.

"Certainly we need to continue to develop those who are in government so that they can take over those roles of leadership and help drive the direction that we're going, but not all of those positions can be filled simply by doing that."

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On the Web:

GAO - GAO Report (pdf)

PPS - PPS Release Applauding Sen. Kohl

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