Returning to work


Q: I recently heard that if you were eligible for Civil Service Retirement System retirement and retired, receiving your retired pay, you could return as a FERS employee for a period of time and not effect your CSRS retired pay. Could you elaborate on this program or provide information where I could find out more about it?
A: As you described it, no, it isn’t true. As a rule, if you retire and return to work for the government, the salary of your new position — it will be offset by the amount of your annuity. It doesn’t make any difference if you return to work in the retirement system from which you retired or switch to another system. However, a recent change in law does allow agencies to re-employ annuitants without an offset. The criteria are tight and the positions are time-limited: only 540 hours if hired within six months after retiring, 1,040 in a year if hired after the six-month period, and a lifetime limit of 3,120 hours.


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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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