Re-employment consequences


Q: Can an offer be made and accepted on a federal position prior to an effective retirement date?

A: There’s no prohibition against accepting another federal position prior to retiring from your current position, as long as the reporting date is after you retire. However, you need to consider the potential consequences of becoming a re-employed annuitant.

For example, if you retired on an immediate unreduced annuity, the salary of your new position would be reduced by the amount of that annuity, unless you were being hired into one of those rare positions where you are allowed to keep both. If you left under an early retirement authority before meeting the age and service requirement for an immediate annuity, your annuity would stop and you’d be treated like a regular employee. In that case, you’d only be able to retire again when you met the age and service requirements.

Also, if you received a buyout when you retired and returned to work for the government within five years, you’d have to repay every penny of that amount. Further, if you received a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave, you’d have to repay the portion that wasn’t covered by the days you were retired before being re-employed. That’s because annual leave is projected forward as if you were still on the agency’s rolls. Of course, those aren’t the only things to consider, so I suggest that you check out OPM’s website on re-employed annuitants.


About Author

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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