Q. I retired with 22 years at age 55 from a Defense Department sub-agency. I am drawing my special retirement supplement. Can I go back to work? What will I lose if I return to work?

A. If you go back to work for the government, in most cases the salary of your new position would be reduced by the amount of your annuity. Also, your special retirement supplement would end. If you go to work elsewhere, it would have no effect on your annuity. However, if you had earnings from wages or self-employment that exceeded the annual Social Security earnings limit, your special retirement supplement would be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earned above that limit. In 2013, the limit is $15,120.


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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

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