Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

February 21, 1930

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't any demands from your side today.


There has been a good deal of discussion in the press about the Dale bill. I have been very anxious to secure a proper readjustment of civil service employees' retirement funds, and my attention was called a little while ago to certain injustices in the Dale plan by the various departments of the Government, and those injustices present just the same difficulty to me that they apparently presented to my predecessor.

That is, those employees, who as the result of faithful and capable service gradually are promoted over the term of their service until they get into higher averages of salaries, are very badly penalized under that arrangement. In fact, the penalties are so large that at a certain average of salary, and not a very large salary at that, it would be better for those employees if they took their 3 1/2 percent, which they contribute out of their salaries to the fund, and deposited it in the savings bank and drew it out when they retire.

In other words, the Government not only contributes nothing to that class of employees, which give great service to the country, but it actually takes away a portion of their contributions to the fund. And the Lehlbach plan put no penalties on the minimum employees at all because they have exactly the same situation they had before; there was a series of adjustments in it which gave a retirement annuity based upon the amount of money contributed, after you got above the minimum, by the actual employee. That would have cost something more to the Public Treasury, but I expressed a willingness to meet that part of it, but that I felt that there was a very serious injustice there that could be corrected. And from certain of the studies made by the different bureaus in cooperation with Lehlbach was the evolution of that plan. I haven't myself cared particularly what the plan was so long as it was a plan that brought out annuities in proper proportion to the contributions of employees from their own pay, plus the Government contributions to the minimum requirement.

I thought it might be desirable to make that clear to the employees of the Government. There seems to be a good deal of misunderstanding, and some claim that the plan was difficult to understand. It seemed to me it was easy to understand the fact that there was no reduction of the annuity payment and there was an adjustment of the annuity of those mentioned.

That is all I have today.

Note: President Hoover's ninety-first news conference was held in the State, War, and Navy Building at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 1930.

The White House also issued a text of the President's statement about retirement funds for civil service employees (see Item 60).

Herbert Hoover, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211432

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