Retired employees can return to work through the new NYC program. How a 67-year-old woman shares her skills with FDNY.

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Pleasant Plans resident Mary McLaughlin, 67, retired from working for the FDNY in September 2021 — but her retirement didn’t last long. She has since joined the workforce through the Silver Stars program, which allows retired New York employees to return to work for city agencies.

“I think it’s a very good program for retirees in the city, because I think some of us who are now retired would like to work, on a limited basis, a few days a week. They can either work at the agency they were working at or look around and see if there’s anything else that interests them,” said McLaughlin, who started working for the FDNY in 1984 in his department. Human Resources, before moving to the Office of Health Services. , of which she became the director.

The Department of Aging recently launched the Silver Stars program, which allows retirees to return to work for the city on a part-time basis. By recruiting experienced retirees from the municipal public service, the program allows municipal agencies to staff their staff with talented and qualified professionals, while benefiting from cost reduction measures and an accelerated hiring process.

“What better opportunity for our retired city employees who are willing and able to return to the workforce through the Silver Stars program through our Department for Aging,” Mayor Eric Adams said when announcing the program last month. .

“The skills, knowledge and expertise that our retirees have gained working for the city for years will benefit the work our agencies continue to do every day, while allowing us to be more inclusive and diversify the place of work”, added the mayor.

McLaughlin, who said she has no plans to return to work after retiring, was approached by FDNY Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Prezant about the Silver Stars program, and is now back at the FDNY in as bureau chief at the Staten Island satellite. for the World Trade Center program.

As an office manager, she works with a team of doctors and nurses, answers the phone, prepares patient records for daily surveillance exams, and takes care of paperwork, among other things.

“I take advantage of it. I have the chance to meet and also to reconnect with [FDNY] members I have cared for or worked with during my career in the fire service, as most of the clients are retirees,” said McLaughlin, adding that the program gives him “an opportunity to give back”.

Silver Stars program employees work part-time and are assigned projects that typically last a year, depending on agency needs. They can earn up to $35,000 a year and still receive benefits from the city’s retirement system.

Silver Stars began as a pilot program in fall 2021, officially launching last month. Currently, five city agencies participate, including: the FDNY; administration of children’s services; the Department of Citywide Administrative Services; the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the Department of Aging.

“The Department of Aging team is currently engaging all city agencies about this program and expects more to join us in the future,” said Greg Rose, a spokesperson for the Department. ‘agency.

To be eligible, entrants must be fully retired from their City employment, have no remaining sick or vacation time balance, and be a New York City resident.


Ryan H. Bowman