Browsing: Office of Personnel Management

Washington, D.C-area feds getting a snow day


Federal offices in the Washington, D.C. area will be closed Thursday, the Office of Personnel Management has announced. The early call came Wednesday evening as snow is already accumulating. As usual, emergency and telework-ready employees must follow their agencies’ policies. But for those who have the chance to sleep a little later tomorrow morning, enjoy it. And stay safe.

So what's up with agency attrition rates?


Every year, tens of thousands of federal employees retire or otherwise leave their jobs. But some agencies have much higher turnover rates than others. That data nugget is buried in a recent Government Accountability Office report examining government workforce trends. From fiscal 2004 through 2012, the average annual government retirement rate was 3.5 percent, the average resignation rate, 2.4 percent, for a combined “separation rate” of 5.9 percent, according to the report. But when GAO reviewers looked at 24 individual agencies, they found a pretty big spread around that average. During that 2004-12 period, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency…

How many people at your agency are retirement-eligible?


For all the talk of a looming “retirement tsumani” throughout  the federal workforce, the picture is actually a lot more nuanced. Some agencies–or agency components–have a ratio of retirement-eligibles well above the government-wide average of about 14 percent; some are so far below that the threat looks more like a ripple than a tidal wave, according to data provided by the Office of Personnel Management. So where does your agency stand? Check out this nifty chart.

Thinking of phased retirement? We want to hear from you


The Office of Personnel Management today published proposed regulations on a new phased retirement option, which will let federal employees ease into retirement on a part-time basis, while still getting half a pension. You can read all about OPM’s plan here. And we’d like to hear from you on this potentially monumental change. Are you interested in phasing into retirement? If so, why? (Or if not, why not?) And if you are a manager, do you think allowing your employees to take phased retirement will help with your agency’s succession planning and knowledge retention efforts? E-mail me at if…

John Berry: 'No comment' on Interior secretary post


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to step down at the end of March opens up one more Cabinet position in the second Obama administration — and may present an opportunity for Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry. While Berry is most known these days for his focus on federal hiring, pensions and other personnel matters, nature issues are especially close to his heart. He was director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park before Obama tapped him to run OPM, and prior to that, served as executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. He also served as…

But we've always done it that way . . .


Thinking new–so hard to do. Set it to music and that might be the refrain of a new report on how federal workers view their agencies’ attitude toward the cutting edge. Only about 40 percent of feds believe that agencies reward creativity and innovation, the Partnership for Public Service found. And although more than nine out of ten say they are looking for fresh approaches to doing their jobs better, just 59 percent feel encouragement from higher-ups “to come up with new and better ways of doing things.” In the private-sector workforce, the comparable figure is 71 percent. Overall, the…

OPM declares unscheduled leave, telework for DC area; offices open tomorrow


Although wide swaths of the Washington DC area remain powerless and sweltering after Friday night’s derecho storm, the federal government will be open tomorrow, the Office of Personnel Management just said. However, non-emergency essential employees in the DC area will have the option of taking unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework if they choose, OPM said. (But speaking for myself, I can’t imagine why anybody without power would want to stay home this week. Even the worst job sounds pretty good when outdoor temperatures are hovering near 100 and the office has AC.) You can check Dominion Power’s work schedule here.…

OPM: FEHBP must cover lesbian fed's wife, but no other same-sex spouses


Karen Golinski, a lesbian federal employee, won a major court victory in February when a federal judge ruled that the government had to extend health benefits to her same-sex wife. But other gay and lesbian feds won’t be able to benefit from Golinski’s victory at this time. The Office of Personnel Management in March ordered Blue Cross Blue Shield to cover Golinski’s wife, Amy Cunninghis. But today, OPM sent a notice out on its listserv that said the Golinski ruling does not apply to anyone else. “OPM has been directed by the Department of Justice to continue applying the Defense…

Taps for the National Security Personnel System


As of this Sunday, the National Security Personnel System is officially defunct. In a Federal Register notice published today, the Office of Personnel Management and the Defense Department report that they are repealing the regulations accompanying the controversial pay-for-performance system effective Jan. 1. The repeal is basically just housekeeping; the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act ended the legal authority for the NSPS and declared that any existing regs would be toast by the beginning of 2012. Should anyone need a refresher on what the very long-running flap was about, incidentally, this Federal Times article offers a good recap.

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