House to vote on partial retirement for feds

Thursday - 4/19/2012, 9:12am EDT

The House will vote on a bill that would allow federal employees to partially retire. Under the legislation, employees could work part-time and receive prorated pension payments.

In a rare bipartisan move, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee unanimously voted to send the bill to the floor for a general vote. One amendment to the bill was added in committee, allowing federal retirees to roll unused vacation time into their Thrift Savings Plans upon retirement.

Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said the phased-retirement plan could help the Postal Service, which currently faces huge buyouts and post office closures, manage costs.

The plan could save the government up to $465 million over 10 years, Issa said.

Although they still voted to support the bill, Democratic lawmakers said they did not support using the savings for anything unrelated to federal employees.

A representative for the National Treasury Employees Union said it was "keeping close watch" on this bill and a similar one introduced in the Senate. The idea was originally proposed in President Barack Obama's budget for 2013.

Under the plan, partial retirees would also be expected to spend one-fifth of their time training newer employees.

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