Processing Problems

By Tammy Flanagan

February 10, 2012

Last week, a group of senators held a hearing on the ongoing issue of federal retirement processing delays. Here’s what I learned in watching the hearing:

From my perspective, part of the problem is it’s difficult for one person to know all the intricacies of each employee’s career history and how they could affect the calculation of retirement benefits. The best source available for providing accurate information to federal employees regarding their retirement eligibility and computation of their benefits is the CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices. To my knowledge, the April 1998 version is the most recent available. It’s due for a major revision.

What to Do?

In the course of testimony at the hearing, several recommendations surfaced about what individual employees and agency human resources offices can do to make the retirement process run more smoothly. Here are some of the suggestions:

A final thought: Agencies should ensure they have an adequate number of well-trained retirement specialists. These employees should be motivated to provide compassionate service and strive for accuracy. This can be achieved only by offering a career path of increasing grade levels based on expertise and performance. Since the retirement system isn’t automated yet, retirement counselors who have years of experience are worth their weight in gold.


By Tammy Flanagan

February 10, 2012

http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/retirement-planning/2012/02/processing-problems/41152/