Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Recent data on the federal workforce show the impact of the much-examined growth of retirement eligibility in the federal workforce, but meanwhile highlight a less-known parallel trend, the government’s low rates of hiring—both from outside and from inside, of current employees changing jobs—at older ages.

The Partnership for Public Service data show, not surprisingly, that older employees account for the bulk of federal turnover, with employees 55 and older making up over 57 percent of departures in 2013, compared with only 23 percent for employees younger than age 40.

It added, though, that only about 9 percent of those hired are age 55 and up, while 55 percent of those hired were under age 40.

Overall, retirements accounted for 54 percent of all separations in 2013, while voluntary quits made up another 35 percent and the rest were firings, RIFs, deaths and other forms of separation such as unrenewed temporary appointments.

In all, the report said, more than 114,000 employees separated from federal service in 2013, down by about 1,000 from 2012 but well above the low of 83,000 reached during the worst of the recession years, 2009.