There are two new early-out wrinkles that should interest senior workers who want out, and younger employees who would love to see them go so they can avoid layoffs and get promotions:
1) The National Federation of Federal Employees has endorsed a bill sponsored by Rep. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to give Defense Department civilians a five-year pension credit sweetener if they take immediate retirement.
NFFE's support could win it friends, at least temporarily. But if the long-shot bill became law it could cost the union money and bodies. About half of its dues-paying members are in Army, Navy or Air Force installations.
Union opposition is a major reason the Senate ignored a much broader early-out bill introduced several years ago by Sen. William V. Roth Jr. (R-Del.). He would extend the early-out option to employees in virtually every agency but the Postal Service.
His bill would temporarily relax retirement rules, making early-outs possible for thousands of workers who are lacking age or service time necessary to retire on immediate pensions. Agencies would be barred from replacing most early retirees, which is why unions don't like the Roth bill. His plan would let employees retire at age 50 with 20 years' service; at 55 with 15 years'; at 57 with five years', or at any age with 25 years' service. Under regular rules the earliest employees can retire is age 55 with 30 years' service.
2) Roth's bill, which has been stalled in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee for several years, may briefly see the light of day next week. Roth may try to add it as an amendment to the federal pay reform bill the committee will approve. Again, that is a long shot, but for early-out fans any news is good news.
Meantime, Boxer's bill seems to be picking up support from Democrats who don't like the Roth plan. She would let employees add five years to their age and service time if they would retire immediately.
People who are eligible to retire could still add five years to their time. That would boost their lifetime annuity as much as 10 percent. Both plans are designed to encourage older workers to retire to avoid layoffs that would hurt younger workers.
Both early retirement plans have a long way to go. But the fact that the military establishment is slimming, and that anxious workers won't let the early-out issue die in this election year, may make the early-out bandwagon look more attractive to some politicians and some unions. FDIC Election
Workers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. headquarters office will soon decide whether they want AFL-CIO's American Federation of Government Employees or the independent National Treasury Employees Union to represent them. Field employees of the division of liquidation recently picked NTEU as their bargaining agent. Job Mart
The Small Business Administration is looking for a deputy personnel director at the GM (merit pay) 14/15 level. Call Gloria McMillan at 653-6780.
The National Cancer Institute wants a personnel management specialist, GS 9 through 12. Civil service status required. Call Toni McKeown at 496-8657.