A Tidal Wave Postponed: The Economy and Public Sector Retirements

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In an effort to gauge the recession’s impact on state and local government retirement, the Center conducted a survey of members of two groups of government managers: the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) and the National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE).

The survey finds that the slumping economy is indeed holding back retirements among state and local government employees. Specific findings include:

  • Almost half (49 percent) of the respondents to the survey said 20 percent or more of their workers are eligible to retire in the next five years.
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents (80 percent) said the economy is affecting the timing of retirements.
  • 85 percent said employees are delaying retirements.
  • 9 percent said employees are accelerating their retirements to avoid changes that will reduce benefits.
  • 7 percent said employees are taking incentives for early retirement.
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