Paul L. Caron

Friday, October 15, 2010

33% of IRS's 106,000 Employees Are Eligible for Retirement

TIGTA The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration yesterday released Improvements Have Been Made to the Recruitment Process, but Continued Focus and Additional Enhancements Are Needed (2010-10-113):

Like many Federal agencies, the IRS will be challenged to replace existing talent because of a large number of expected retirements. More than a third of IRS executives are already eligible for retirement while more than half of the IRS’s 106,000 employees and managers have reached age 50 and can retire within 10 years. Many of these employees possess unique skills and institutional knowledge that will be difficult to replace.

TIGTA found that in the approximately 18 months since it completed its last audit of the IRS’s recruitment process, the IRS has taken significant actions to improve its ability to recruit qualified workers. Notably, the IRS has developed a comprehensive agency-wide recruitment strategy designed to attract outstanding candidates from diverse backgrounds to fill vacant positions, TIGTA found.

While the IRS has made significant progress, long-term commitment and focus is required, and the IRS needs to better measure and monitor program effectiveness, according to the report.

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These talent shortages are overstated. The people retiring are the ones who are computer illiterate, standoffish buffons who make interacting with the government so painful. The more tech-savvy employees of all ages are sticking around. Most of the retirees from the Federal civil service are the clerical-type workers, not the white collar professionals. We should all be happy about that.

Posted by: Jacknut | Oct 16, 2010 10:15:13 AM

True, no one is unreplaceable. But it IS true that, people who work in government, in general work longer than those in the public. You can have someone who has worked in the same job, department, etc. for 10+, 20+, 30+ years, and SOME people will have knowledge and skills that would be difficult to replace. You also have some who have been there for the same number of years, but don't know jack sXXt.

Posted by: Horatio | Oct 16, 2010 8:41:22 AM

"Retirement communities are filled with supposedly indespensible former employees, at least in their own minds. (Unemployment lines too.)"

Yep. Thing is though, that life becomes a lot more fun when you realize you are totally replaceable. The weight of the world isn't on your shoulders.

And yeah, the IRS will somehow have to make do without it's indespesible baby boomers. (It's like the ending of the last Indy film, where basically Indy refuses to pass the hat on to the next generation, because there's only 1 of him...sure, George Lucas, uh..I mean Indy.)

Posted by: Amy | Oct 15, 2010 11:17:18 AM

Maybe this is relevant or maybe it's not, but I found this article interesting since I just applied for an Honors Attorney position with IRS Chief Counsel, for which the cover letter said something about hiring only 55 attorneys last year out of thousands of candidates. Hopefully this increases my chances!

Posted by: David Stokley | Oct 15, 2010 10:07:18 AM

"Many of these employees possess ...institutional knowledge that will be difficult to replace."

They created the damned "institution" to protect their own hide.

Posted by: ic | Oct 15, 2010 9:56:54 AM

Indispensable? Prove it. Simple test, that was used when I was in the military. If you can place you finger in a cup of coffee, withdraw it, and leave a hole, THEN you can consider yourself "indispensable".

Posted by: Wind Rider | Oct 15, 2010 8:30:50 AM

Retirement communities are filled with supposedly indespensible former employees, at least in their own minds. (Unemployment lines too.)

Posted by: lol | Oct 15, 2010 6:33:42 AM