Retirement Policy

MSPB says an upcoming report will examine the relationship between engagement and likelihood of leaving government, an issue it says could prove crucial as large number of employees become eligible for retirement.


MSPB says that data from a recent survey show that retirement-eligible employees who are engaged have less intention to leave their agency. Over half of the retirement-eligible employees who said they were very unlikely to leave their agency reported being engaged. In contrast, less than one-third of retirement-eligible employees who said they were very likely to leave their agency reported being engaged.

Of those who said it was very likely they would leave their agency, 29 percent reported being not engaged. On the other hand, of those who said that it was very unlikely that they would leave their agency, less than 9 percent reported they were not engaged.

Said MSPB in a recent publication, “These retirement-eligible employees have worked long careers and may be ready to retire—and they have earned it. However, many factors go into making the decision to retire, not the least of which are financial considerations and how much one enjoys one’s job. It appears that employees who are eligible to retire but plan on remaining at work have high levels of engagement that may play a role in keeping them on the job.

“The lesson here is a simple one: if agencies want to hold onto their older workers longer, they should figure out how to engage them. Among the strategies to heighten federal employee engagement, we recommend maintaining a focus on the fit between a person and a job, effectively managing employee performance, embracing a competency-based approach to managing employees, and selecting first-level supervisors based on their supervisory-related abilities or potential,” it said.