I was over at Langley recently attending a CIA friend’s retirement ceremony. I bumped into a lot of people I knew and we talked about what we were up to. Most of them had recently retired from the Agency, many pulling down retirements at close to $100,000. Nearly all of them were working for various contractors, basically doing the same work that they were doing before they retired but for much more money. Several noted that they were making in excess of $200,000 per annum in their second careers, together with a full benefits package. One complained that he was making so much money that he had jumped tax brackets and the state of Virginia and federal government were taking much of what he earned, so much so that he was considering turning down a promotion because it would require more travel and bring in very little more net income.
I recall that when I worked briefly for a CIA contractor back in 2001-2, I was told that the contractors used a formula based on the earnings of their employees. Three-to-one was common, which means that a $200,000 employee would be billed to the government at $600,000. At that time, a third of CIA employees were contractors. More recently, it has been reported that half are.
A couple of officers noted that they did not have a lot of work to do in their new positions. Several said that there was a lot of make-work and paper drills that didn’t make sense. It seems that there are a large number of people sitting around in various places at something like $700,000 a pop with benefits on top of that. Wonder if anyone is looking at the intelligence budget.