Survey: Retirement wave not a major concern

Despite predictions of a major retirement wave in the coming years, most federal managers are more concerned about other issues, including the continuing war in Iraq, a new study has found.

Only 22 percent of managers in a survey by Tandberg, a provider of videoconferencing equipment and services, identified retiring employees as the issue that will have the most effect on the federal government in the next two years.

Among managers older than 46 who participated in the survey, 30 percent named retirement as the primary issue. But only 10 percent of managers under 45 expressed concern about retiring employees.

On the other hand, 64 percent named the war in Iraq as the biggest issue, and 35 percent were more worried about the change in administrations in 2009. In addition, 29 percent cited nondiscretionary health care and Social Security spending as a key issue.

Although less concerned about retiring workers, most managers shared high levels of disquiet about their agencies’ current employee training (79 percent) and employee development programs (77 percent), the survey showed.

Also in the survey, 78 percent of managers cited their agencies’ knowledge management processes as problematic. In fact, 61 percent said either their agencies’ didn’t have a knowledge management policy or they weren’t sure if they did.

The study, "See: the Future of Government," was based on an online poll conducted last August; 171 federal managers responded, 82 percent of whom worked at civilian agencies. Fourteen percent worked at Defense Department agencies and 4 percent at intelligence agencies, Tandberg said.

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