Expert appointments and retirement


Q: I voluntarily retired after 37 1/2 years with the Internal Revenue Service on Jan. 3, 2007, under the Civil Service Retirement System. From July 2007 to Dec. 6, 2009, I served as a contractor to the Health and Human Services Department. I was then hired as a full-time employee. Human resources made a mistake and did not offset my annuity until March 2010. As a result, this left me with only $38 in net pay and a debt of $15K because my salary was not offset.

HHS wants me to continue to provide my services so they offered to hire me under an “Expert” appointment not to exceed one year from the date of the original appointment. After the year expires, they will offer me another appointment for two years. Upon completion of that appointment, they will offer me another two-year appointment with no more offers thereafter, resulting in a total of five years. When this appointment is made retroactively to the December 2009 starting date, I will need to request a waiver of the debt as through no fault of my own, I was not fully informed of the ramifications of my appointment. I understand the waiver will be accepted and I will be relieved of this debt.

As a result of this appointment, I will not be allowed to put any monies into CSRS retirement, I cannot participate in the Thrift Savings Plan and I will not be able to participate in the dental or vision insurance plans. I planned on working for an additional five years to reach the 41-year, 11-month requirement so my annuity can be recalculated to equal 80 percent of my total salary. If I set aside 7 percent of my salary, which I understand is the percentage that would be deducted if I was able to pay into retirement after the five years, can I request an recalculation of my annuity if I pay in the amount set aside?

A: No, you can’t do that.


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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