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A federal retirement tsunami has been predicted for years but never quite materialized. In our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio reexamines the trends and developments that led to the botched predictions and what it means today with a recent uptick in retirements reviving old worries.
Even though a massive federal retirement tsunami has been a no-show, even a moderate uptick in retirements could pose challenges for agencies -- especially as they face decreasing budgets and declining staffs. In part three of our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio examines how agencies plan to retain institutional knowledge and fill critical skills gaps as longtime employees head for the exits.
Tags: Retirement Conundrum , retirement , GAO , Robert Goldenkoff , John Palguta , Partnership for Public Service , Jeff Neal , HUD , Sheila Wright , training , Cathy Biggs-Silver , VA , virtual learning , Peter Leeds , MSPB
Roughly 680,000 DoD civilians will be forced to take one day off per week without pay between July 8 and the end of the fiscal year as a result of the automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration. Jessica Wright, acting undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, told In Depth with Francis Rose the decision wasn't an easy one.
The Office of Personnel Management has made steady progress chipping away at a longstanding backlog of retirement claims. But Oversight Committee lawmakers and other government watchdogs remain concerned that the absence of a long-term plan to overhaul the mostly paper-based process combined with across-the-board budget cuts and a lack of strong leadership within OPM could stall or derail the progress the agency has made.
The top lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee have called on the Defense Department to detail how it will cut billions more from its budget if sequestration continues into next year. In a letter dated May 2, Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the committee, asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to provide a "package of reductions" to the department's proposed 2014 budget.
Some furloughed federal employees could offset their forced time off with annual leave -- but only under certain circumstances, according to updated guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. If an agency cancels the need for planned furlough days after an employee has already taken those days off, he or she is permitted to substitute annual leave to offset the furlough.
Furloughs at the Agriculture Department are looking increasingly unlikely following Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's request to shift funding and the department's ongoing efforts to find alternative cost savings. A USDA spokeswoman confirmed last week that the department wouldn't have to furlough employees in either the Farm Service Agency or the department's Rural Development division.
The number of federal employees filing retirement claims in April dipped below expectations following months of unexpectedly high numbers, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM received 7,059 claims last month, about 1,000 fewer than expected.
Governmentwide scores tracking how agencies foster and reward employee innovation dropped in 2012 for the second year in a row, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte. NASA took the honors for the most innovative large agency, while the Surface Transportation Board was the most innovative small agency.
Two senators from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee want to change Senate rules in an attempt to make sure new federal programs or initiatives in proposed legislation don't overlap with existing efforts. Earlier this month, two House members introduced a measure that would require House committees of jurisdiction to hold oversight hearings on an annual report from the Government Accountability Office detailing government duplication.