Offset and rehire


Q. I am, a 1811 employee who will be 57. I face mandatory to retirement  in 2012, with 23 years of service under FERS. Two questions:

1) Regarding the supplement from OPM, is there a earnings test/limit associated with the benefit? Or can I make more then the $14,000 without any reduction to the supplement?
2) Regarding  returning to federal service, law enforcement or non-law enforcement position, is that possible and what is the process to prevent a reduction in my pay/annuity? Is there a special term/classification I need to address in the application process?

A. First, because you will have reached your minimum retirement age when you retire, you will be subject to the Social Security earnings limit. Any earnings you have from wages or self-employment that exceed that limit ($14,160 in 2011) will cause your special retirement supplement to be reduced or suspended. Second, if you return to work for the federal government, there isn’t any “process” that will prevent the offset of your salary by the amount of your annuity. However, under existing laws, agencies have limited flexibilities to waive that requirement. As you shop around for another job, you’ll have to ask if you’d qualify for such an exemption.



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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

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