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Retirement Classroom Training

Currently there is no official formal classroom training offered at SSA HQ for retirement processing. Since 2015 the DCHR OPE Retirements group has lost 4 senior specialist, leaving us with a staff of 7 people, one of which has never worked in retirements/benefits before, and another leaving in a few months. Within the next 5 years two more may retire. Decades of experience have already gone and there doesn't appear to be a plan to replenish the knowledge and skills we've already lost. Right now, the vast majority of the training is on the job, otherwise we have to rely on classroom training from OPM. The training from OPM covers a specific topic or two, not all of what we do here in OPE Retirements. Because the retirements area does so much more than retire people (death cases, resignations, terminations/removals, benefit entitlement for current and retiring employees, social security entitlement, Medicare, civilian & military deposits/redeposit , counseling sessions, enter on duty presentations, general customer service for people who don't know who to contact regarding their issue, being a sympathetic ear for those who need to vent about their work life, just to name but a few of our official and unofficial duties) it would benefit new specialist in our area to have formal classroom training on the things we actually do in this office rather than rely on on-the-job training.

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Idea No. 1537