Phased retirement: Here but not for everybody!

Friday - 6/7/2013, 2:00am EDT

For nearly a year now, we've been hearing from retirement-age feds anxious to take advantage of a long-pending plan that would allow them to take phased retirement. The rules — now almost official — make it possible for some people to work several days per week, get prorated pay and pension benefits and ease into retirement. All the while helping to train younger, new workers or those who will replace them.

The change, which was approved by Congress last year, will allow some — maybe many — career feds to briefly join the Federal "TWT club" previously made up almost exclusive of senators and representatives. TWT stands for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday which for years now has become the normal Washington work week for many, maybe most, of the nation's political leaders.

While the phased-retirement rules were in the works, we heard from a number of feds who were champing at the bit to take advantage of them. One GSA employee said "the day I get the word that phased retirement has been approved I'm marching upstairs to the boss' office and putting in my papers. It will be perfect for me ... a dream come true."

Reality check time. Phased retirement is not for everybody, even if you have been dreaming of it, and planning for it, for a long, long time.

The bottom line is that the vast majority of federal workers will probably never take part in phased-retirement, no matter how badly they want it, how long they've planned for it and how good (at least in their opinion) it would be for the government and their agency.

Phased retirement is a management option. You can ask, but you can't demand, it.


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

Movie previews are called trailers even though now they typically appear before a feature presentation, because in the early days of the movies, the ads would be spliced onto the end of movie reels, thus trailing the actual film.

(Source: Today I Found Out)


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