Regarding the article "Federal Workers Shun New Pension System" {front page, Dec. 30}, the "pension experts" quoted therein seemed to blame the low enrollment in the new Federal Employees Retirement System on the fact that federal employees are lazy, ill-informed or cynical. One "expert" even went so far as to claim that by not switching, federal employees are somehow cheating the taxpayers -- because the new system was designed to be extra generous to attract federal workers.

FERS may be comparable to the best retirement systems in private industry, but it is not as good as the older federal retirement system. These disparaging remarks from "experts" may be right on one account, however. Federal employees understand that the new system is, as pointed out in the article, intended to be less expensive to the government than the old system. And they are intelligent and cynical enough to conclude that the savings from the new system can only come out of their pockets. Who would voluntarily elect to enroll in a less generous system and take a reduction in benefits?

I conclude from the article that the low enrollment reflects the common sense and good judgment of federal employees.

MAX E. BUFFINGTON

Columbia