Pandemic Causes Some Federal Employees to Rethink Career Plans

May 20, 2021

The recently released 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results show that the pandemic has caused some federal employees to rethink their career plans, with 31 percent saying they are considering leaving their organization within the next year, compared with 26 percent saying that was in their minds before the pandemic.

Of those considering leaving, there was an increase in all of the options listed in the survey: from 6 to 7 percent for retirement; from 15 to 16 percent to take another job within the government; from 2 to 3 percent to take another job elsewhere, and from 3 to 4 percent for other reasons.

Of those expecting to retire, the percentage who projected retirement within one year rose slightly, from 3 to 4 percent, while the percentages who plan to retire in other time frames held about steady.

Overall, 29 percent said they expect to retire in five years or less. That is roughly equal to the percentage, 27, who said they have been with the government at least 20 years, suggesting that many already are eligible under one of the standard age and years of service combinations, with the rest to reach a needed combination within that time period.