I just read that many Federal employees are waiting to retire because they believe Congress is going to approve a buy-out. Is that you too? If it is, perhaps you should rethink your plans.
Sequestration, furloughs and frozen salaries are all the rage these days. Add to that the fact that we have a deadlocked Congress and you will probably come up with the same conclusion I did: this lethal combination is more likely to result in less positions and less opportunities to replace employees who resign, retire or transfer from their current positions. It's also not going to move legislators to approve many buy-outs.
According to FedSmith, “Public employees are seen by many Americans as ... a privileged class. The pay and benefits of public workers are increasingly viewed as harming taxpayers who are footing increasingly large amounts of debt and interest. In this environment, getting a majority in Congress to take the political heat for supporting higher pay and more benefits seems unlikely.” This point of view doesn’t exactly paint a glowing future for retirement buy-outs, does it?
There is a bit of good news on the horizon, however. FERS-covered employees are now eligible to pay back any refunded retirement contributions and return that credit towards their future retirement calculations. Couple that with the “CSRS equalization” action in 2010 which permits FERS-covered employees to receive retirement credit for their unused Sick Leave and you might just discover that retirement is closer than you’d hoped (and not being held in abeyance pending a less-likely budget action by Congress).
For more information about Federal retirement, visit the OPM retirement website. Specific retirement information for CSRS and FERS-covered employees is available below:
• CSRS information is detailed at https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/csrs-information/; and
• FERS information is available at https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information.