OPM breaks down the basics of phased retirement

Tuesday - 8/14/2012, 9:14pm EDT

By Amanda Iacone
Federal News Radio

From sick leave to workers subject to mandatory retirement, the Office of Personnel and Management has provided a detailed question and answer factsheet explaining how the new phased retirement option will work.

President Obama signed the phased retirement option into law this summer, updating a prior retirement law that didn't give workers much of a financial incentive to continue working part time.

The new law allows federal employees to retire but still continue working part time. Employees can continue to earn additional retirement benefits based on their part-time earnings.

According to the memo, under CSRS, the employee must be eligible for immediate retirement and have at least 30 years of service at age 55 or have 20 years of service at age 60. Under FERS, a worker must be eligible for immediate retirement and have at least 30 years of service when they hit the minimum retirement age, which could be 55 to 57 depending on which year they were born, or have 20 years of service at age 60.

But both the employee's agency and the employee must agree to the phased retirement.

Managers hope to use the part-time retirees to train and mentor the younger, less skilled employees who will eventually fill the retirees' positions.

OPM must first write new regulations before retirement-eligible workers can take advantage of the option. OPM said it hopes to draft the regulations as soon as possible.

Read the full factsheet.

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