Letter to the editor

I enjoy reading Milt Zall's column in Federal Computer Week. As a fairly recently retired federal government worker, though, I have a somewhat different take on the retirement issue that he wrote about in the Aug. 13 issue ["Why feds retire"].

In my opinion, one of the problems the government has is that too many employees are staying too long in their jobs and not retiring.

From my observation, most feds over 55 years old are past their prime and would do the country a big service by checking out and making way for newer blood. And the fact that they continue to work, even though many are actually receiving only 25 to 35 cents on the dollar, when considering what they would receive in retirement pay, shows that they are "in a rut."

I do not buy any argument that they stay in their jobs as a "public service." Quite to the contrary, I believe it is a "public disservice."

This is especially true for grades 14-15 and the Senior Executive Service rank, where too many older workers hang on just to improve their "high-three years."

And I emphatically disagree that feds are underpaid. Most could not get anywhere close to their government salary on the open market. The ones who are truly overworked are in most cases the result of manufactured work passed down from "over-the-hill" senior executives.

My experience was in the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Interior, and the Office of Economic Opportunity and includes a tour with NATO in Brussels as a senior-level civilian.

Fred Hammer
Parker, Colo.

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