Limits to federal reemployment


Q: I am a retired Civil Service Retirement System annuitant who is currently employed in the private sector. Due to the economic downturn, I am going to have to work longer than I had planned and have been tentatively offered a job with the government. I know that previously, if I returned to work for the government, my salary would be reduced by the amount of my annuity, i.e., I would only draw a salary for the difference. I saw an article that indicated this might be changing with the new Defense Authorization Bill that the president was expected to sign last week. Can you tell me what the new rules for rehiring are under this bill, and has it been signed into law?

A: The extension of the Defense Department authority to other departments and agencies was signed by the president and is now law. However, it isn’t an open invitation to agencies to rehire annuitants on a part-time basis and allow them to receive both their full annuity and the salary of their new position. It is reserved for positions that fulfill functions critical to the mission of the agency (or of one of its components) or to support specific activities outlined in the law. Reemployment is further limited to 520 hours in any six-month period or 1,040 hours in a 12-month period. The lifetime limit is 3,120 hours.

— Reg Jones


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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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