CSRS, part-time employment


Q. I am eligible for retirement under CSRS with over 30 years of employment with the USGS. One intriguing retirement option was the proposal that was floated last year regarding a transition into retirement by working part time. I understand this proposal has been recently finalized; however, my main concern is how this legislation affects retirement benefits at the “high 3” level.

A. There hasn’t been any change in law regarding a transition into retirement by working part time. However, there has been a change to the way that the annuities of part-time CSRS employees are calculated, which will produce a better financial result. Previously, one high-3 average salary was based on the pay actually received and the other based on pay the individual would have received assuming they worked full-time (the deemed high-3). The new law provides that the “deemed high-3” average salary will be used for all service, regardless of when performed. This change doesn’t alter the other provisions applicable to calculation of annuities involving part-time service. The amendment applies only to annuities based on a separation from service occurring on or after Oct. 28, 2009.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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