OPM prepares for surge as number of retirement claims double

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According to the Government Accountability Office, 31 percent of federal employees are at or above the age of retirement. With so many employees nearing the end of their service to the federal government, how is the Office of Personnel Management dealing with the increase in retirement-age workers?

 

“Cases do come in every day. It takes a while sometimes to get those cases through. Remember, each one of these cases pertains to an individual, a different set of circumstances, pay, a different set of work history behind them. We may have to contact them to get additional information,” said Kenneth Zawodny, associate director of Retirement Services at OPM. “Say they have military time prior to coming into the federal government 35 years ago, we give them the opportunity to pay a deposit for that time, to give credit for that to be included in their retirement. That takes time.”

 

Zawodny said that while the predicted surge in retirements hasn’t happened, OPM believes that the reason is because people like their jobs.

 

“Most folks we see seem to be working a little bit longer. We believe it is because they enjoy the work that they are doing, they enjoy the camaraderie… and most importantly they enjoy the mission of working for the people of the United States,” Zawodny told Government Matters. “Why they leave is really a personal matter that we try not to get into too much. Everybody who chooses to retire does it for a different reason and at a different time, whatever suits them.”