This is what showed up on my RSS newsreader this week….

 Notice a recurring theme here?  Federal Employee Morale stinks.   This is because overall Federal Employee compensation is shrinking while workloads are expanding (due to hiring freezes).  Pay, benefits, and the FERS Annuity itself are once again bargaining chips on the table.

No wonder 12,000 Feds bailed out in October.

Two Navy commands I met with last month were both mentally preparing themselves for the Next Shutdown (in January 2014).

What to do?

1) If you’re a Fed who is a newly-hired college grad, you need to know that you sit at the bottom of the Federal Employee RIF/Layoff pecking order.  You have a target pinned to your back.  Get your resume together and start collecting marketable skills.

2) If you’re the Medicare-Eligible guy two cubicles down from the recently-hired college grad in #1, what are you waiting for?  Federal Salaries are frozen- You’ve spent plenty of time feathering your nest egg and maybe it’s time to hang up the employee badge.  Consider the following:

  • Know whether or not you are eligible for a FERS Retirement Annuity.  Knowing how much- and when- your FERS Annuity pays you is critical in deciding how much retirement income you will need to provide from other sources.
  • If you’re not eligible for an Immediate (ie starts paying you the day you retire) FERS Annuity, know when and how much your FERS Deferred Annuity pays you.
  • Not ready to turn in your badge just yet?  Consider speaking with your command/agency about downshifting to Part Time.   This could help:
    • Reduce your agency’s payroll (and reduce the overall number of RIFs necessary),
    • Continue to build your Annuity payout, and
    • Provide a much-needed mentor opportunity to the young college grads.

Part-timing or Job Sharing in lieu of RIF or retirement could be a win-win-win for all parties (You, Your Agency, Young Employees in your Agency).  What’s not to like?

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