Part-time federal job after retirement


Q. I have a question that follows up on a question and answer from Nov. 19, 2012. Could you explain in a bit more detail what is meant by the following statement?: “There are limited opportunities for a retiree to go back to work for the government either full time or part time while receiving both his annuity and the full salary of his position.”

Do you mean, for example, that, in most cases, the law prohibits a retiree of one federal agency from working part time for another federal agency, or imposes a negative consequence upon such a retiree who works part time for another federal agency?

I’m currently a FERS-transfer employee of the Defense Department. I’m wondering whether I could retire from a DoD position and work part time for the National Park Service while getting a full retirement annuity from the DoD job, and, if I could, whether I would nevertheless be penalized in some way.

A. What I meant is that there are only a few appointing authorities that would allow a retiree to receive both his annuity and the full salary of his new position. Further, agencies may only use such an authority under limited circumstances. For example, DoD’s authority is confined to hard-to-fill positions; when the position is critical to the accomplishment of the agency’s mission or to complete a project; or where the candidate has unique or specialized skills. The same is true of the FBI and the intelligence community.

On the other hand, most agencies, with OPM approval, can hire someone on a case-by-case basis, where there is an emergency or a severe recruiting difficulty. Further, there are limited-time appointments under Section 1122 of Public Law 111-84, when certain criteria are met.

To the best of my knowledge, the use of these authorities has been limited because the criteria are hard to meet. Instead, where agencies are re-employing an annuitant, they are doing so by offsetting the salaries of his new position by the amount he is receiving in his annuity. Note: If you should be hired into a position that allows you to receive both your annuity and the full salary of the position, the time spent there wouldn’t be creditable for either a supplemental or redetermined annuity.


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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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