Most of the letters to the Monday Morning Quarterback concern a Senate plan to offer early retirement this year to federal workers. The suggestions range from personal reasons for supporting the early out to proposals to make the plan more attractive to its opponents. Also included are a federal employe's warning about what he thinks is false advertising about the new U.S. pension plan and comment from a lonely administrative law judge. Here goes: "I strongly support the early retirement bill. My husband transferred here when the San Francisco shipyard closed. He's in his sixties and retired after 32 years of service. He's with a private firm and wants to leave, but we are afraid . . . .
"I entered the work force late, after raising three children, and am 56 with 16 years of service. That means I have to work another four years before I can retire. By then my husband will be 70. I'm not sure he can wait; he's tired and burnt out and wants to go home.
"Early retirement is the answer for us. Our combined annuities won't make us rich, but at least we can go home, be able to eat and have a little dignity left." M.Y., Alexandria
"The early retirement bill concerns me as a federal employee and as a taxpayer.
"I have 28 years in government and would like to contribute my skills to some other endeavor for a short time. The early-out concept revitalizes me and could also revitalize industry by using the unique talents of government workers on a focused project activity. The advantages:
"1) Expert computerized systems could cut costs by supporting a less skilled work force in managing complex problems.
"2) Congress could demonstrate industry-style belt-tightening initiatives by cutting costs . . . . "J.A.P., Fairfax Station
"To achieve the goal of the early-out bill and address the reduction-in-services issue, I recommend that early retirement be limited to grades 12 through 15. That would have a favorable budget impact because of the high salaries of the workers, and minimize the reduction of services since the actual number leaving would be small. That should be acceptable to unions since few employees at those grade levels are members. Granted this is discriminatory, but it does have merit and precedent in government and industry." G.M., Silver Spring
"Your column on growth-shrinkage in government overlooked the Interstate Commerce Commission's Office of Hearings. We may be setting a new record for shrinkage . . . .
"When I came on board in the 1960s, there were more than 100 hearing officers (administrative law judges) at ICC. By 1973, we were down to 77 administrative law judges, and by 1979 we had shrunk to 57. Today, we are three, and with two clericals a total staff of five.
"That is, there were three of us when I came in this morning, but it has been awfully quiet out there . . . . " P.J.C., Silver Spring
"I would like to point out some misleading information contained in some of the government literature on the new retirement plan.
"A number of illustrations of retiree benefits describe employee contributions to the thrift savings plan (and earnings) as part of a retirement package. Although taxes on savings are deferred, those savings should no more be considered a retirement benefit than employee contributions to a passbook savings account. I certainly hope the computerized comparisons (being offered by some private firms) have not used such a ridiculous notion in their comparisons." G.M.J., Bethesda