Thirty-one percent of federal employees already are retirement-eligible, according to newly released data from OPM, underscoring the potential for significant loss of expertise and the need for hiring to replace departing employees in the time ahead.

While long-standing warnings of a “retirement wave” have proven to be overstated, in terms of a potential rush of employees to the exit doors all at once, the figures re-emphasize that the government is top-heavy in terms of its age profile and can expect a substantial flow of retirements continuing in the years ahead.

Nearly twice as many employees, 13 percent, are age 60 or older than are under age 30, 7 percent. Thirty-two percent are between age 50 and 59, 26 percent between 40 and 49, and 22 percent between 30 and 39.

The figures, released in conjunction with preliminary results of this year’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, are for non-postal, full-time, permanent, non-seasonal executive branch employees.

According to a separate OPM report, the average age at retirement is 61.5 under CSRS and 60.8 under FERS.