Furloughs vs. buyouts


Q. Can someone explain why furloughing workers would be the first step to save money? I would think  buyouts would be first. There are thousands of CSRS employees just waiting for a buyout; why aren’t they being offered?

A. You’re wrong. It’s far less expensive to the government to furlough employees than to pay them to leave. First, you don’t have to shell out any money. Second, you can furlough far more employees than you can get to take a buyout. Third, some of those who are furloughed will decide to retire at little additional expense to the government. Finally, needed employees will go back to work when the furlough is over.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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