Going part time before retirement

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Q: I am working full time and plan to retire soon from the Department of Justice under FERS. Because my position will not be posted now due to the hiring freeze, I am looking at delaying my retirement but going part time (two to three days a week) for a few months. Can you tell me what disadvantages there might be to doing this? Could this have any effect on my retirement benefits/annuity when I finally do retire in a few months? I heard that the part-time status is somehow prorated and may decrease the amount of my ‘high 3’ at retirement. Are there any other concerns or issues I should be aware of or look into before making this decision?

A: Going part time won’t affect your high-3; however, that time will be prorated and result in a reduction in your annuity. If you only worked part time for a few months, the reduction would be small. To find out what the difference would be, you should ask your personnel office to give you annuity estimates based on the two scenarios.

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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.

2 Comments

  1. I assume the “reduction in annuity” applies only to the part-time portion of employment. And thus the part-time portion adds to the retirement nest egg (as compared to an immediate retirement from full-time employment). Correct?

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