About 550,000 full-time career federal government employees and U.S. Postal Service workers could hang it up and move on at any time because they are currently eligible to retire, according to government statistics obtained Thursday. The eligible workers represent about a quarter of the 2.4 million permanent full-time employees collecting government or postal paychecks.
The Office of Personnel Management, which compiles and releases federal personnel and retirement statistics, shared the numbers Thursday after inquiries by The Washington Post. Federal workers, their union leaders and other close observers warned this week that proposals to significantly increase federal workers’ payroll deductions for contributions to their pension funds may hasten an exodus of older, experienced workers already eligible to retire.
Lawmakers and White House negotiators are considering the proposal as one of a few areas of agreement on how to reduce the federal deficit, The Post reported this week.