Tracking the retirement tsunami

Are federal workers retiring in larger numbers? Are we on the verge of the so-called retirement tsunami that experts have been predicting for years? Find out wh...

For many years experts have predicted that the government was facing an immediate brain drain. A “retirement tsunami” that would leave Uncle Sam without institutional memory and operating without the help of long-time experts and specialists.

But the tsunami hasn’t happened.

Federal News Radio has been tracking the outflow of government workers on a monthly basis.  And the numbers are interesting and surprising to lots of tsunami predictors.

Following the November 2016 election and the Inauguration — both of which were supposed to trigger a mass exodus of feds — the number of retiring feds actually dropped most months compared to previous years. It was less, not more, than in the past even though 31 percent of the workforce could leave today and 45 percent of the federal workforce will never see age 50 again.

While more feds filed for retirement in 2017 than in 2016, the larger retirement surges —100,000 plus per year — took place in 2011 through 2014 when the government was undergoing shutdowns, furloughs without pay and three years without the regular statutory January pay raise.

Those numbers clearly mean something. The question is what? Federal News Radio reporter Nicole Ogrysko has been tracking the tsunami. She’ll be our guest today at 10 a.m. EST on our Your Turn Radio show. Listen live at Federal News Radio or 1500 AM if you can. Or check us out later by clicking here.

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