The federal workforce, like the nation's workforce as a whole, is aging, and increasingly large percentages are becoming eligible to retire. Eventually baby boomers will leave the workforce and when they do, they will leave behind gaps in leadership, skills, and knowledge due to the slower-growing pool of younger workers. GAO and others have emphasized the need for federal agencies to hire and retain older workers to help address these shortages. Building upon earlier testimony, GAO was asked to examine (1) age and retirement eligibility trends of the current federal workforce and the extent to which agencies hire and retain older workers; (2) workforce challenges selected agencies face and the strategies they use to hire and retain older workers; and (3) actions taken by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to help agencies hire and retain experienced workers. To address these questions, GAO analyzed data from OPM's Central Personal Data File, interviewed officials at three agencies with high proportions of workers eligible to retire, and identified agencies' promising practices to hire and retain older workers.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Personnel Management||1. To better assist agencies in attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce, the Director of OPM should develop a systematic approach, which may include communicating through the Chief Human Capital Officer Council, to share information broadly across the federal government about agency-developed promising practices in recruitment and retention of older, experienced workers to meet their workforce needs.|