Q: I am a CSRS employee and I plan to retire at the end of the year. I am interested in coming back as a part-time rehired annuitant. My research indicates that as a rehired annuitant, appointments are limited to a year or less, and the annuitant may not serve for more than 520 hours during the period ending six months following the commencing date; for more than 1,040 hours during any 12-month period or for more than a total of 3,120 hours. My confusion is that the appointment is limited to a year, however, the annuitant may not work for more than 1,040 or 3,120 hours. Is it the intent that a part-time annuitant may work for a maximum of 1,040 hours in a 12-month period and/or 3,120 hours for a 36-month period? If so, why is it stated that the appointment is limited to one year or less?
A: There are two provisions of law that cover the re-employment of most retirees. You have only described one of them. The first and oldest allows an agency to hire a retiree for an unlimited amount of time. However, in most cases the salary of the new position will be offset by the amount of his or her annuity. The second and newest allows an agency to hire a retiree to meet the objectives spelled out in the law and permits the rehired retiree to keep both his or her annuity and the full salary of the new position. The latter authority has numerous restrictions designed to preclude its misuse, including the ones you cited. The one-year limit on an appointment forces an agency to re-examine the reasons behind the initial appointment and verify that the need still exists before extending that appointment.