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The First Assistant Postmaster General, in his report for 1912, says:

“In the Postal Service the employees rarely are able to accumulate savings. and the injury of an employee in the line of duty, necessitating his absence without pay or resulting in death, is a serious hardship to his family. The Gov. ernment should take the lead in dealing fairly with employees who are injured while in the performance of duty, and those who, when burdened with years and worn with faithful service, are forced to relinquish their position because no longer able to work."

The benefit of retirement for superannuation has been recognized in other countries, as well as by many private corporations in this country. Great Britain has had superannuation laws for its civil service since 1834. At first the contributory system was used, but this proved so unsatisfactory that it was abolished in 1859. Since 1859 Great Britain has paid to her superannuated postal employees straight pensions running from one-sixth of their salary for 10 years' service to two-thirds of their salary for 40 years' service. Since 1909, in addition to a pension, a gratuity is granted in a lump sum equal to one-thirtieth of their annual salary multiplied by the number of completed years served, not to exceed one and a half times a year's salary. The estimated cost for 1909–10 for pensions and gratuities of the post-office service in Great Britain was £649,000. Among other foreign Governments providing for retirement on annuities of their civil servants are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Australia, Cape Colony, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Russia. Since 1904 Argentina has had a general civil-employees pension system.

In the United States retirement allowances are made to Federal judges, the employees of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, the Life-Saving Service, and the Revenue-Cutter Service. In the case of enlisted men in the Army after 30 years of service an annuity is paid of approximately $67 a month.

Possibly more nearly in line with the proposed retirement plan are the pensions provided for the police and firemen in our municipalities. Each of the 18 cities of this country having more than 300,000 inhabitants has a pension fund for police, firemen, and teachers. Of the 37 cities between 100.000 and 300,000 population, all but 1 pension policemen and all but 2 pension firemen. Of the 174 cities with a population of between 25,000 and 100,000, 108 pension either police or firemen or both. There is no uniformity, however, regarding these pensions. For example, of the 18 largest cities, 9 do not stipulate the minimum age of retirement. In others it ranges from 50 to 65 years; the required length of service ranges from 20 to 25 years. Some of the cities require contribution to the pension fund from the employees. Others do not. The amount of the pension allowed also varies, but in most cases is half the salary at retirement, although there are cases where two-thirds of the active salary is paid. In 13 of the 18 largest cities the firemen's pension is fixed at half the final salary.

Massachusetts has taken the most advanced steps in caring for her superannuated employees. In almost every branch of the State service noncontributary annuities are paid superannuate employees, and the same is true of municipal employees in that State. In Boston, for instance, laborers in the highway department are pensioned after 30 years of service.

Nineteen States have enacted either optional or compulsory retirement laws for teachers.

Your committee is of the opinion that one of the beneficial effects of the passage of this bill will be the keeping in the Postal Service of many young men, the pick of the service, who now resign to seek more remunerative employment. In Detroit, for instance, over 100 postal employees are stated to have resigned within three months because employment with better opportunities was offered them. These were the younger men with more years of usefulness ahead of them. The older men remain in the service, for the Postal Service does not train the individual for work with other corporations, as the Government has a monopoly of the post office and there is no other similar work. So that the employee who stays in the service beyond a certain age reaches the state where the private corporation will not undertake to train him for their work, as the number of years lessen that they may expect maximum service from him after he is trained. The going out of the service of the younger men after they have been trained works to the great detriment of the service.

[Extract from statement of Thomas F. Flaherty before House Committee on Reform in

the Civil Service.]

That the civil-service clerk is a most necessary part of the governmental machinery will be attested to by any departmental chief. The wheels of the great national institution keep turning in much the same fashion regardless of which political party is in the ascendancy. An election, with all its noise and clamor, does not disturb but slightly the actual work of the Government. Call it routine, if you will, it is nevertheless an essential, important work.

It has been truly and aptly said that the Government in its conduct of the civil service keeps the front door locked and the rear door wide open. Entrance into the service is difficult. It is only gained by successfully passing the closest scrutiny as to mental qualifications, character, and general fitness. Once in, however, and the applicant is given free rein to escape. He may be signally qualified for an exacting duty, his retention may be desirable from an economic viewpoint, still no particular inducement is made to him to make the service his life's work. He finds the exit wide open. Thus the most efficient. material that comes into the service filters through it, because outside attractions are greater and more promising. From a business standpoint this is wrong. If Government work requires skilled intelligence, experienced, trained, expert workers, then it is an economic waste not to attract and hold this class of employees. It is a mistaken policy to cheapen the Government service so that it is not a magnet for the best brains of the Nation.

That many Congressmen look askance at this proposition to retire Government workers is to be expected. Every new idea must fight çown the opposition and the prejudice of those who oppose it. It took 100 years of agitation in England to overcome the opposition to the public-school system.

In 1829—87 years ago—some public-spirited citizens of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, attempted to organize a meeting to promote the idea of free public schools, to be supported by general taxation. They were set upon by the police, beaten, and thrown into jail. They were denounced as undesirables and anarchists.

Property owners said it was confiscation to tax one nian's property to educate another man's children. They said it would pauperize parents to educate their children at public expense.

People who opposed free public schools said that if parents who were poor were relieved of paying for the schooling of their children these parents would become lazy and shiftless.

Last year in the United States over $750,000,000, raised by general taxation, was spent on free public schools, and the taxpayers were proud of the record.

In 1911 Illinois enacted the first mothers' pension law. Since then 27 States have enacted laws of this nature. The entire tendency of our times is to take care of the man who has given by his work some contribution to society.

We need to make our Government service something better than a recruiting station for outside vocations. At the present time you can go through any of the departments here in Washington and you will find that the most energetic, the high-strung, the ambitious young fellows are studying law or dentistry or medicine on the outside, with a view to going out into a more lucrative vocation and engaging in that as their life's work.

We ought to make our civil service so attractive that it would attract and hold the very best class of our citizens.

[Editorial of the New York Evening Journal, Apr. 6, 1916.)



[Copyright, 1916, Star Co.)

At the top of this page are printed photographs of five men, each of whom has served the United States as a letter carrier for about 50 years. We print their pictures, not to make any especial appeal on their behalf-for not one of them asks it.

The photographs are printed to show you what type of men give their lives to the Government and to the public-earnest, high class, self-respecting men, worthy of respect and of gratitude.

When a farmer has worked a horse for 20 years he gives that horse pasture for the rest of his life.

He does not turn the horse out on the roadside the neighbors would not tolerate it.

When the Government of the United States has worked a man for 50 years, that Government, the richest in the world, ought not to turn that man out on the roadside, as our Government does.

It is your money that will be spent to pension these faithful workers.
There is no charity, nothing but plain justice in a fair pension system.

And remember that in such a system there is no extravagance; on the contrary, there is economy.

When a man has worked a half century and can work no longer, he must still live.

Please believe that it is better for the country and cheaper for the Government and the taxpayers to give such a man a fair pension than to turn him adrift.

You can keep an old man in self-respect on a pension much more cheaply than the grafters will keep him in a poorhouse.

By treating old and faithful workers honestly and fairly you encourage the better class of young men to enter the Government service, and that service is your service.

Look at the faces on this page, a few of the men in one city who have served faithfully for so long.

Think of your own father as you look at these faces and use your influence with your Congressman to get justice for honest work.

The following resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Civic Federation at their annual meeting, held in the New Willard Hotel, January 17, 1916, at Washington, D. C.: Whereas every other civilized country has provided a system of retirement

allowances for its superannuated and otherwise disabled employees; and Whereas a thorough investigation of the subject of pension systems has been

made by the pension department of the National Civic Federation; and Whereas this investigation has clearly demonstrated that a retirement system

with suitable pensions is the most practical solution of the superannuated problem and is in the interest both of economy and efficiency: Therefore be it

Resolved, That the National Civic Federation in annual meeting assembled at the Willard Hotel, January 17, 1916, declares itself in favor of the immediate establishment of an equitable retirement system for Federal employees urging upon Congress the enactment of such legislation at the present session; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the members of the Cabinet, to each Senator and Member of the House of Representatives.


Washington, D. C., April 22, 1916. Mr. THOMAS F. FLAHERTY, Secretary-Treasurer National Federation of Post Office Clerks,

Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR AND BROTHER: In reply to your recent inquiry as to my opinion upon House bill 10130, which is a bill to retire postal employees on annuity, permit me to say that for years the American Federation of Labor has been officially on record in favor of the principle of old-age pensions for civil-service em. ployees. The United States is one of the few civilized countries that has not established retirement provisions for superannuated Government employees. Years ago the A. F. of L. officially indorsed the principle upon which such a system is based and has endeavored to further the efforts of Federal employees to secure favorable action by Congress upon legislation for this purpose.

Old-age annuities are in accord with sound business principles as well as principles of justice and humanity. Under present conditions it is frankly acknowledged that employees are retained in the service even after their usefulness has become greatly impaired because a decent regard for humanity makes it impossible for our National Government to dismiss without further means for subsistence those who have given a life's service to the service.

It is far more economical and more humane to retire superannuated employees on pension and to have for Government work the service of vigorous, capable. employees in the full vigor of usefulness. Under such a plan more work and better work can be accomplished probably without increased expenditure. But regardless of whether the costs of Government service be increased or not, oldage pensions for Government employees ought to be established. Relative costs must not be the determining standards for the adoption of policies for our Republic. The maintenance of principles of human welfare is what is of paramount importance. The A. F. of L. is in favor of the principle upon which H. R. 10130 is based. Fraternally, yours,

SAML. GOMPERS, President American Federation of Labor.

Mr. ALCORN. The next gentleman to be heard on the subject will be Mr. John S. Beach, chairman of the committee on retirement of the Federal Employees' Union, No. 14632.

The CHAIRMAN. Proceed, Mr. Beach.

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Mr. Beach. Mr. Chairman, anticipating that a great many of the Government employees will wish to be heard at this time, I have prepared a statement in order that I may place my views concretely before the committee, and will ask to have it go in the record.


(The statement of Mr. Beach is here printed in full as follows:) That Congress should enact an equitable retirement law has been so often reiterated as to become a maxim. The need for such legislation was first brought to the attention of Congress more than 30 years ago, and bills have been repeatedly introduced in Congress since. In 1912 President Taft gave his unqualified approval to a retirement plan. Heads of departments and chiefs of bureaus have incorporated in their annual reports from year to year recommendations for a retirement law. The Democratic Party in 1916 inserted a plank in its national platform recommending the passage of a retirement law; and, in their last annual reports, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Labor, and other department officials strongly urged retirement legislation. Hearings have been held by committees in Congress, facts and figures have been marshaled in support of various plans, and a great mass of matter has been contributed by students of the subject. Senator Pomerene, in submitting a report from the Committee on Civil Service and Retrenchment, on February 13, 1917, stated, “ Present conditions in the civil service, due in large part to superannuation, have become almost intolerable, and each year they are growing worse.” It would, therefore, appear that the time has arrived for definite action, that a concrete plan should be determined upon, and that a retirement law should be enacted at an early date.

There are but three types of system to be considered when the retirement question is under discussion; the wholly contributory system, through which the employee is required to contribute the entire amount for the purchase of his own annuity; the noncontributory system, through which the Government pays the whole amount of pension or annuity; and the partly cotributory system, in which the employee and the Government share jointly in the cost of maintenance. The most advanced thought upon this subject is now practically unanimous in favor of the partly contributory system. These various systems are very ably discussed in a monograph recently published by Mr. Paul Studensky of the Bureau of Municipal Research of New York City.

In view of the fact that so much statistical and ethical matter has been printed on the subject of retirement I shall not, in the time alloted me, undertake to cover that ground, but I desire to address the committee in support of the partly contributory plan embodied in the bill introduced by Senator Wadsworth April 4, 1917, (S. 281) and referred to this committee. This bill

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is indorsed by the organization of which I am a member. Mr. Ryan of the Bureau of Education, who will follow me, has made a study of retirement systems in operation in foreign countries and in States and municipalities, and has some very interesting matter to contribute to this subject.

In May, 1916, the Committee on Civil Service and Retrenchment held hearings on the Pomerene bill (S. 3079), which proposed to establish a wholly contributory system for retirement, and at the same time hearings on the Ashurst bill (S. 5673), which was designed to establish a noncontributory system. So far as I am advised the committee has not heretofore had under consideration a system similar to the one embodied in the Wadsworth bill.

In the consideration of any retirement system there are three vital factors which concern the employee and the Government alike, and which must be considered in their relationship one to the other:

First, the age fixed for retirement and whether retirement at any specified age shall be optional or compulsory.

Second, the maximum and minimum amount of annuity fixed in the plan and the conditions under which the same shall be paid.

Third, assuming that the noncontributory plan is no longer tenable, the amount of contribution required from the employee and the cost to the Government to establish and maintain an equitable system.

The plan for retirement at certain specified ages as outlined in the first section of the Wadsworth bill is entirely new and has not heretofore been incorporated in any other retirement bill. It provides that eligibility for retirement shall be fixed at 70 years during the first year of operation, at 69 years during the second year, 68 years during the third year, and so on until 65 years becomes the minimum age for optional retirement. As provided in section 7, an employee may be continued in the service beyond the retirement age for stated periods at the discretion of the head of the department or bureau. After the law has been in full force and effect for a period of 10 years, however, retirement becomes compulsory at 70 and optional at any time between 65 and 70.

Compulsory retirement at 70 is defended for the reason that in a very large percentage of cases the maximum of efficiency has been reached and passed be fore that age, and after that time superannuation in all the term implies be comes more acute each year. Optional retirement at 65 is a necessary corollary to a wholly contributory or partly contributory system. If an employee has been contributing for a period of 25, 30, 35, or 40 years it would appear to be an act of justice and equity that he should be given the option of retiring at an age when he may yet have several years in which to enjoy the fruits of his labors. How many employees will avail themselves of this privilege is a problem which experience only will solve. I find that many employees who have reached the retirement age and are still in receipt of a good salary do not wish to retire, particularly on comparatively small annuity such as provided in the Wads. worth bill. On the other hand, employees still in middle life are looking forward with great anticipation to the enactment of a retirement law and couple this anticipation with the hope that they may not be compelled to remain in the service until they are years of age.

In the event that a considerable percentage of those who may become eligible for retirement between 65 and 70 avail themselves of the privilege to retire, the Government would still be the beneficiary, for we can well imagine a strong, virile civil service made up of employees less than 65 years of age. In this connection I desire to recommend very strongly to this committee a change in the civil-service regulations which, following the passage of a retirement law, will fix the maximum age for entrance to clerical positions in the classified civil service at 35 years. Thus the Government would secure to itself at least 30 years of service before the employee would be eligible for retirement and at a period in the life of the employee when he would be most capable of rendering efficient service.

Having in mind the scant consideration which other hills providing a scale for large annuities have received in Congress, and rather than to try to attain the impracticable and the impossible, the organization which I represent decided to indorse a schedule of annuities which would appeal to Congress as being fair both for the individual employee and for the Government.

The schedule of annuities provided in the Wadsworth bill fixes a maximum of $600 per annum for those who have been 30 years or more in the service, and other annuities graduated both in relation to the number of years in the service and the average salary, pay, or compensation received during the last 10 years of service,

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