Q: I recently retired at age 56, air traffic control mandatory retirement, with 36 years in the Civil Service Retirement System. A desirable position for which I am qualified has become available with a local Transportation Security Administration unit. If rehired at TSA, would I be under the Federal Employees Retirement System or CSRS? If I’m under FERS, could I retain full CSRS annuity? If rehired into CSRS, what are some factors to consider: annual leave rate, recomputation of CSRS annuity, etc.? I would like to work until age 62, when my wife can retire and would be very close to maximum CSRS annuity (80 percent).
A: If you were rehired anywhere in the federal government, your annuity would continue, and, in most cases, the salary of your new position would be offset by the amount of your annuity. You would have the option of electing to be covered by FERS. You wouldn’t be starting anew if you did, you would simply be continuing your federal employment under another retirement system. Whatever you decide to do, if you worked for one year you would be eligible for a supplemental annuity. If you worked for five years, you’d be eligible for a redetermined annuity. Whether this would be to your advantage financially if you had switched to FERS is something you’d have to explore with your new personnel office. On the other hand, if you stayed under CSRS and worked for a total of 41 years and 11 months, your annuity would equal the maximum 80 percent annuity available under CSRS.