Working after retirement


Q. If I retire at 57 with 31 years of service under FERS. Can I work elsewhere and just not receive special retirement supplement? Or will I be capped?

A. You can take a nonfederal government job and continue to receive the special retirement supplement. However, if what you earn from wages or self employment exceed the annual Social Security earnings limitation, your SRS will be reduced or stopped.


About Author

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


  1. David McKay on

    The 2017 Social Security Earnings Limit is $16,920 (same for those FERS retirees between their MRA and age 62, who are also receiving SRS).

    Your SRS, like early Social Security, will be reduced $1 for every $2 your earnings from employment (either self or from an employer) are over the earnings limit for that year. If you make approximately $50K+/year in either private sector or non federal government employment, your SRS benefits will stop. Also, your SRS benefit ceases when you turn 62 and are eligible for early social security, whether you enroll in social security or not at age 62.

    Your FERS retirement annuity will not be affected by outside employment or re-employment by the Federal Government and is not subject to earnings tests, maybe just needing more income taxes withheld if you continue to work and receive your FERS pension annuity.

    • David McKay on

      Want to amend my comments about FERS retirement annuity not being affected if you return to Federal Civil Service as a rehired annuitant.

      If you do decide to return to work for FedGov after retirement, you will continue to receive your FERS annuity pension like before, but in most all cases with rehired annuitants, the computed by-weekly amount of your FERS retirement annuity will be reduced from your FedGov paycheck.

      In most cases you are not allowed to receive both your FERS retirement annuity and your FedGov civil service paycheck in full, so you get to keep your FERS retirement like before and have your pay from work reduced by that amount.

      However, if you stay on with FedGov as a rehired annuitant for longer than one year, your FERS retirement annuity will be recalculated to reflect your added time. Your high three can also be recalculated if your salary as a rehired annuitant was higher than the high three when you initially retired.

  2. Timothy Bozoki on

    I’m looking into buying my military service time and waive my military retirement and retire with 37 (20 military + 17 GS) years creditable service at 56 years old. Am I entitled to SRS?

    • Joe Rosario on

      That will probably be a bad decision. Unless you were a E-7 or lower in the military and now are a GS-13 or higher. Plus FERS retirees after 12/31/17 will get no SRS and no COLA ever. Military pensions will still get the COLA.

      • Notwithstanding a draft budget summary, there is no basis for assuming that there won’t be any SRS or COLA ever after December 31, 2017. Proposals and outcomes are two different things.

  3. Edward Marlowe on

    I understood that if you earned more than 50K when you 56 the supplement goes away. Is it 55 years or 56 years of age? I am being asked to repay 11K when that I received when I was 55 years of age in 2015 where I turned 56 on 11/26/59. I have attempted to call OPM for clarification but they cannot seem to return a phone call. Anybody out there know the answer to this.

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