You Won’t Be Able to Get HR Advice from OPM During a Shutdown

OPM outlines in its shutdown contingency plan which portions of the agency would be impacted by a funding lapse.

The Office of Personnel Management OPM) is one of many federal agencies that has a contingency plan for a government shutdown. It, along with many others, is listed on the White House’s Office of Management and Budget website.

OPM is the federal government’s main human resources office. Among the agency’s many duties, it provides HR guidance to federal employees on matters such as retirement, pensions, and pay/benefits.

In the event of a partial government shutdown, OPM said in its contingency plan that federal employees “would not have access to OPM’s expert guidance on human resources matters that arise during a shutdown.” This is because the HR functions fall under an area of the agency that is funded by annual appropriations, thus being interrupted during a lapse in appropriations resulting from the shutdown.

However, OPM said that the bulk of its core functions are not funded by annual appropriations and thus would continue in a partial shutdown. These include Retirement Services and “a significant portion for funding for Healthcare and Insurance,” two key areas federal employees and retirees always ask about if a shutdown is looming. OPM has said in its shutdown guidance that federal retirees will continue to receive their annuity payments, and federal employees will not have to go without health insurance.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.