WASHINGTON - Thrift regulators have been downsizing their work force for several years, reflecting the decrease in the number of savings and loans.

The Office of Thrift Supervision employs 2,162 people, down from 3,400 in 1989. The target staff size is 2,119, according to William R. Casey, deputy assistant director for resources management at the OTS.

But while the OTS is just 43 people away from the goal. Mr. Casey said many more staffers will have to leave because the OTS has more people than it needs.

Using Early Retirement to Cut Ranks

"Even if we got to 2,119 tomorrow, we would still have to cut Washington staff to get rid of unnecessary positions," he said. "The more you shrink, the more you have a problem fitting the work that needs to be done with the skills that people have." The OTS is using early retirement to reduce its ranks. Under an early out, agency employees can retire at any age with 25 years of service or at age 50 with 20 years of service.

If the OTS's early retirement program does not cull the needed number of staffers, a reduction in force is expected at OTS, Mr. Casey said.

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