The Perfect Management Storm

The new president, coming into office Jan. 20, 2009, will face what the current head of the Office of Personnel Management has called a “retirement tsunami." According to many experts, 60 percent of the federal government’s rank and file workforce and 90 percent of its top managers will be eligible to retire in the next decade. OPM projections show that nearly 61,000 full-time permanent federal employees will retire in fiscal 2008 and that the number of retirements will peak between 2008 and 2010 â€" just as an incoming president seeks to launch her or his new administration.

Over the next five years, the federal government will lose more than 550,000 employees. But the market for recruits has never been more competitive and government employees are locked in a fierce contest with the private sector.