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Washington, DC - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Associate Director Robert Danbeck testified today before the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia. The focus of his testimony was on the importance of federal financial literacy programs, and the impact they have on federal employees' long-term retirement goals.
"OPM is committed to educating federal employees about the need for retirement savings and investment, providing information on how to plan for retirement and calculating retirement investment needed to meet their retirement goals," said Danbeck.
The main educational "tool" OPM has developed is its Retirement Readiness: NOW program. The program focuses on the outcome of OPM retirement financial education programs, and it provides employees information on how to plan for the future and how to calculate the investments needed to meet their retirement goals. Rather than being a "near retirement" event, the readiness model considers retirement financial literacy and education as a career-long process.
Danbeck's testimony focused on a number of retirement programs to help federal employees save for the future. In particular, he discussed the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the federal government-sponsored retirement savings and investment plan open to federal civilian employees and members of the uniformed services.
"Retirement readiness is dynamic," said Danbeck. "It changes over time. The activities and planning that employees need to do, such as being aware they may need to alter their choice of stock funds during their careers, taking preventive health care measures, and planning what they will do and where they will live in retirement - are all changes made as one moves through life stages."
Danbeck also pointed out the importance of OPM's Retirement System Modernization (RSM) project and its ability to provide employees with tools that, for the first time ever, will allow them to model their future retirement benefits based on a complete set of their actual federal employment information.
In closing, Danbeck pointed out the important role employees have in securing a financially secure retirement: "OPM and agencies can't improve employees' retirement readiness without the direct involvement of the employees themselves. Employees must take advantage of opportunities provided and must assume responsibility for taking steps to meet their retirement goals."
To view a video on retirement options available to federal employees, please go to http://www.opm.gov/Video_Library/Retirement/index.asp
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.