Retired workers can return to work through the new NYC program. How a 67-year-old 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 was short-lived. She has since been rejoined the workforce through the Silver Stars program, which allows retired NYC employees to return to work for city offices.

“I think it’s a really good program for retirees from the city to watch because I think some of us who are now retired are looking forward to working, on a limited basis, a few days a week. They can work at the agency where they worked, or look around and see if there’s anything else that interests them,” said McLaughlin, who started working for the FDNY in the Human Resources Department in 1984 before moving to the Bureau of Health. Services moved. , where she became the director.

The Department for the Aging recently launched the Silver Stars program to help retirees return to work for the city on a part-time basis. By hiring experienced retirees from the city officials, the program enables city agencies to staff their staff with talented, skilled professionals, while also realizing cost-saving measures and an accelerated recruitment process.

“There’s no better opportunity for our retired city employees who want and can return to the workforce to do so through the Silver Stars program through our Department for the Aging,” Mayor Eric Adams said when the program was announced last month.

“The skills, knowledge and expertise our retirees have gained while working for the city for many years will benefit the work our agencies continue to do every day, while also allowing us to be more age-conscious and diversify the workplace,” added the mayor to it.

McLaughlin, who said she had no plans to return to work after retirement, was approached by FDNY Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Prezant on the Silver Stars program and is now back with the FDNY, working as an office manager on the Staten Island satellite for the World Trade Center program.

As an office manager, she works with a staff of doctors and nurses, answers the phones, prepares patient records for daily checkups, and handles paperwork, among other things.

“I enjoy it. I get the chance to meet and also reconnect with [FDNY] members I’ve cared for or worked with over the course of my firefighting career because most of the clients are retirees,” McLaughlin said, adding that the program gives her “an opportunity to give back.”

Employees of the Silver Stars program work part-time and are assigned projects that typically last one year, depending on the needs of the agency. They can earn up to $35,000 a year and continue to benefit from the city’s pension system.

Silver Stars began as a pilot program in the fall of 2021 and officially launched last month. Currently, five city agencies participate, including: the FDNY; the administration of children’s services; the City-wide Administrative Services department; the mayor’s office for contract services and the department of aging.

“The Department for the Aging team is currently involving all city agencies in this program and expects more to come in the future,” said Greg Rose, a spokesperson for the agency.

To be eligible, participants must be fully retired from the city, have no remaining sick or vacation time balance, and be a resident of New York City.