Eligible workers at the Public Health Service have until Sept. 30 to take advantage of an early retirement option approved late last week by the Office of Personnel Management. Under early-out, employes with 25 years of service can retire on immediate annuity, as can those age 50 with 20 years of federal service. Employs who take advantage of the early-out must also take a reduction in their annuity for each year they are under age 55.

The early-out approved by the OPM excludes workers in shortage-occupations and those in jobs for which PHS (because of shortages) has direct hiring authority. It also excludes certain other grade and job categories (too numerous to list here). The shortage jobs excluded can be found in Chapter 530 of the Federal Personnel Manual. Details on who is covered, who isn't, by this early-out should be in the hands of PHS personnel offices within the next few days.

Except for those jobs and series specifically exempted from the early-out, it covers PHS personnel here at Grades 1 through 15 in the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Health Resources Administration, Health Services Administration, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.