Opponents of legislation that would give federal workers the option to retire early argue that it would disrupt operations and pave the way for contractors to take over government. But today's leadoff Monday Morning Quarterback says an early-out would have little impact, except to make those who left and those who stayed happier.
Letter No. 2 is about insurance agents who use an I'm-from-the-government-and-I'm-here-to-help-you ploy to get a foot in the door:
While I appreciate your position with respect to the issue of early-outs, i.e., you keep being bugged by readers about something that has little chance of passage, I can't let the April 8 column ("Reality of Early-Outs") pass without comment.
. . . I want an early-out. While my government career has had many rewards, but it is time to move on . . . but the "system" has me for a few more years!
You said that since January units with 4,400 workers got the early-out option but only 163 of 752 eligibles took it. That translates into 17 percent of the work force had the required years/service and, of those, 21 percent retired.
However the important figure is that 3 percent of the overall work force retired. You are right when you say that there is more early-out than action. But if this is early-out reality, why do unions and congressional Democrats oppose the government-wide early-out bill by Sen. William V. Roth (R-Del.)?
Surely a 3 percent exit wouldn't deplete the union membership or open the door to irresponsible contractors. It would give people the chance to stay or go. If they left, government wouldn't grind to a halt and money would be saved by selective replacement or having work done by lower-grade employees. Those who stayed would, presumably, keep quiet since they would have had their chance to retire and could get on with their jobs.
Yes, there are some unhappy campers out there that would retire if given the option. If they (rather "we") go, I sincerely believe everyone would be better off in the long run . . . the government, management, employees and the public.
In the meantime, I ask those involved to question the inconsistency between what we've heard in opposition to early-retirement and what your Sunday figures tell us? HHS in Silver Spring
I'm a retiree . . . who got a call from a man who said he was assigned to visit me and evaluate my federal employee life insurance. I called the Office of Personnel Management. They do not authorize people to do this!
When the man came to the door he said he represented "the underwriters" but wouldn't tell me his company or give me his card. When I asked if he wanted to sell me insurance he said he wanted to "tell me what's available." I told him I would talk only to OPM about my federal insurance.
This appears to be an attempt to sell extra insurance to government policy-holders who might be led to believe it was part of a U.S. government program. I think your readers should be warned of this ploy. Richard Fitzhugh, Kensington