John Staats Beach

Here is info from a news clipping from a 1934 Washington D.C. newspaper [name unfortunately unknown, but dated Dec 20, 1934 - possibly the Washington Post or Star?].

Contributed by David Stott


 FATHER OF U.S. RETIREMENT ACT QUITS FEDERAL SERVICE AT 70 Beach One Of Foremost Government Actuarial Experts Civil Service Commission Ceremony Held In His Honor John Staats Beach, one of the foremost actuarial experts in the Government, and often referred to by his associates as the "father" of the retirement act, is leaving the service today, having passed his 70th birthday on December 4. A ceremony in his honor was arranged at 2 o'clock at the Civil Service Commission, where Mr. Beach is ending the career that started in 1890, and has been broken only by a four-year business venture. Native of New York State John Staats Beach, a native of New Baltimore, Greene County, N.Y., entered Federal employ as a clerk in the census office on October 1, 1890, and three years later was transferred to what was known as the Washington Pension Agency. In 1902 he was promoted to chief clerk, holding office until 1908, when he left to engage in business. Toward the end of this service Mr. Beach, at the direction of President Theodore Roosevelt, spent a year as a pension agent at Concord, N.H. When, in 1912, there was created a disbursing office in the Bureau of Pension, Government officials paid Beach the compliment of asking that he re-enter service to assist in setting up the new organization, and President Taft reappointed him by executive order. Beach's Work Recognized At the time the transfer of the retirement unit of the Veterans' Administration to the Civil Service Commission was recommended by Lewis Meriam of the Brookings Institution, who has made a series of reorganization studies for the Government. He directed attention to the retirement work Mr. Beach had done, in these terms: "He (Beach) played an important part in getting the Federal employes to support a contributory system and in urging that it be placed on a sound actuarial basis," Meriam wrote. "He fought gratuity pensions. He has contributed materially to the gradual improvement and development of the system. He had the leading part in organizing and installing the system after the first retirement law was passed. He did work quietly, modestly and efficiently for a compensation which a life insurance president would regard as a mere pittance for the head of one of his minor divisions," Has Two Daughters Beach, who makes his home at the Riverside Apartments, has two daughters, Mrs. Kenneth A. McRae, who is employed at the Navy Department, and Mrs. Fred G. Schifferdecker of Selkirk, N.Y. His wife died nine years ago. On Thursday, December 27, Beach will be the dinner guest of the Joint Conference on Retirement composed of representatives of those Federal employee groups aligned with the American Federation of Labor.


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