OPM: Major Chunk of Federal Workers Approaching Retirement

July 21, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly one-third of full-time, white-collar federal government workers are inching closer to retirement, according to a recent report by the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which tracked workforce changes and composition over two decades.

The report, released on Tuesday, found that in 2004 the number of employees who decided to retire early stood at about 7,600, which was below the 10-year average of 12,208 a year. In 2004, the average age of retirement was 58.7.

OPM Director Linda Springer said she wants to make new hiring a priority under her watch, saying in a press release that the human resources agency “has recognized the federal government needs to alter its hiring practices to attract a new generation of individuals.”

The report found that the average hiring age for government jobs increased from 1994 to 2004. For new employees, the hiring age increased from 34 to 36.5, and for prior hires the age increased from 37.5 to 39.5.

Since 1994, the largest percentages of increases in the federal workforce were in the 50 to 54 and 56 to 59 age groups, which increased 6.1% and 5.6%, respectively.