Part-time employees and retirement


Q. I am a CSRS employee. I have 10 years of part-time service after 1986. I also have 1½ years of part-time service in 1977-78 from while I was in college.

I had heard that when OPM implemented the 1986 part-time law, it made a mistake that seriously disadvantage retirees with part-time service. I also heard there were efforts to correct that, but I hadn’t learned the outcome of those. With respect to the Q&A below from your website, does it mean OPM’s error has been corrected with respect to part-time service and the calculation of annuities? Does 55A no longer apply to the calculation of annuities for people with part-time service? If so, can you tell me where that is written? If 55A does still apply, what is the reason and effect of the change referenced by the QA below?

“Q. I have a friend who is eligible for retirement but wants to continue to work part time for the federal government in the same area. How is their retirement calculated for part time work?

“A. Tell your friend to go to< bs/handbook/C055.pdfand scroll down to Subchapter 55B. Although this information originally only applied to FERS employees, thanks to a change in the law, it now also applies to those covered by CSRS.”

A. OPM didn’t make a mistake. It interpreted the law correctly. Subsequent legislation changed the law so the treatment of CSRS retirees would mirror that of FERS retirees. To see how your part-time service would be treated, go to and scroll to Subchapter 55B, which now applies to both FERS and CSRS retirees.


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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