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This research brief describes work documented in Separation and Retirement Incentives in the Federal Civil Service: A Comparison of the Federal Employees Retirement System and the Civil Service Retirement System (MR-986-OSD).

Excerpt: In recent decades, concerns have been expressed about two related labor force problems in the federal civil service: (1) insufficient turnover among mid- and late-career personnel and (2) the loss of key senior personnel to retirement as soon as they become eligible (generally, age 55). Lack of turnover can clog the promotion pipeline, preventing the hiring or advancement of better-trained or more-skilled individuals. The premature loss of senior personnel can impose significant direct and indirect costs: it is often difficult and time-consuming to find qualified replacements.

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