Recent data revealed by the OPM has highlighted that the phased retirement option offered to federal employees is not too successful. The number of workers who have opted for it is too low even despite the fact that the number has increased in the last few months. Phased retirement has been allowed by OPM since 2014 but it has not been implemented in all the agencies yet.
How Many Federal Employees opted for Phased Retirement?
As per OPM data, only 90 federal employees have chosen to take the route of phased retirement until August 15, 2016. The agency revealed this information after a query was raised by Federal News Radio website. The agency also shared the fact that the employees from the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA showed a lot of enthusiasm for the program.
What is Phased Retirement?
Phased retirement is a program according to which the federal workers who are eligible for retirement are allowed to sign up for a program as per which they work part-time in their positions and collect half of their salaries. They also get only half of their accumulated retirement annuities. When the phased retirement of a federal worker is approved, he or she is required to spend 20 percent of their time in mentoring other employees who are supposed to take over the role played by the employee who is enjoying phased retirement.
The law was passed in the year 2012 by the Congress but the bill was approved by OPM at the end of 2014 only. The people eligible for the program would be 31 percent of the federal workforce by September 2017 and yet the number of people applying for the program is too low.
On January 31, 2016, the number of feds choosing this program was just 31. Now it is 90 which show some improvement over time. In January the data was unearthed by Government Executive website. Though the improvement is commendable, the numbers are still a disappointment for fed organizations that have supported phased retirement in the past.
A reason behind the low number of federal employees in phased retirement program could be the fact that the federal agencies have complete control over whether they need to adopt the program or not. The Social Security Administration has not given the option to any of its employees.