Part-time work and annuities


Q: I recently had my retirement pay calculated. I was a part-timer during my first three years of employment — approximately 25 hours per week.  I subsequently have had 13 years of full-time federal employment. It appears that I will incur a 10 percent penalty in my retirement pay because of those part-time years. Do you know if that will always be true no matter how long I stay as a federal employee?

A: The longer you work, the smaller the reduction in your annuity will be.


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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


  1. I worked for a federal agency (Agency 1) as a part time student from summer 1984 – spring 1986. Worked in private industry for a few years and was later hired at another federal agency (Agency 2) as a full time worker in 1990. From 1996 – 2003 I worked part time and then back to full time until present (2019) at Agency 2. I paid a credit deposit for my 1984 – 1986 part time employment.

    Q: When it comes to calculating my FERS annuity, is it true for people who worked part time from April 1884 – April 1986, that that time period is considered full time? I read something to that effect that during a seminar but have never been able to find where that information is formally cited.

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