Part-time employment


Q. I am a part-time flexible clerk who was hired on July 7, 1984. At the time, I was told when I retired my annuity would be figured as if I was a full-time employee. In 2011 I attended a retirement seminar and was told the same thing. You can imagine my surprise when at 57 years old and 32 years of service I received my annuity estimate, and it is prorated at 52 percent: much less then I was told I would receive. What is going on?

A. Hearing that your annuity as a part-time employee would be the same as that of a full-time employee should have raised a red flag. That’s because it couldn’t be true. Annuities are proportional to the number of hours in an employee’s work schedule. A full-time employee would receive a full annuity; a part-time employee, an annuity based on the reduced work schedule. Because you only had retirement deductions taken from your pay for the hours you worked, you shouldn’t expect to receive the same benefit as someone who had twice that amount taken from his pay.


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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


  1. A PTF (Part Time Flexible) position in the Post Office often works 40 hours or more. Most positions hired back then were always PTF. They are usually converted to Full Time later, but possibly could have stayed as a PTF. If there is a record of his schedule or pay stubs from the years he was a PTF and it verifies that he worked 40 hours for some or all of the service time, I would think that would increase his annuity since the service was actually more than part time, despite the job classification. The trick would be finding pay stubs from the last 30 years to prove it.

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