Q. I recently reached the mandatory retirement age of 57 while being employed as a criminal investigator (Special Agent) with the U.S. Dept. of Justice – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). I was separated from the federal government due to my age of 57 on April 30, 2009. My gross pay used to be over $150,000 per year. My gross retirement pay, after over 25 years of service, is now $73,000 per year. I would like to apply for other federal jobs that I see advertised but am under the impression that I cannot because I am already collecting a federal retirement. Or, if I do, that I will have to find a job that pays more than $73,000 per year because they will deduct that amount from my salary. Somebody told me that because I retired under the law enforcement (1811 series) that I could apply for any other series and would not be affected. I am looking for work and it looks like the federal system is the only one that really pays but I don’t know if it would work for me. Can you possibly offer me any guidance in this area?
A. You aren’t prohibited from taking another job with the government. However, if you do that, in most cases your salary would be offset by the amount of your annuity. While there are some provisions of law that would allow you to keep your annuity and the full salary of your new position, most don’t. And the new law that allows such appointments on a temporary limited basis is still finding its sea legs.