Earnings limit


Q. I’m getting close to my FERS retirement, and I have a second job that I love. If I refuse my special retirement supplement from the Office of Personnel Management, will I still be financially penalized from my FERS retirement for making too much money from my second job? If so, how can I still continue to work without being penalized?

A. Your FERS retirement wouldn’t be penalized if you exceed the annual Social Security earnings limit. That limit only affects the special retirement supplement. If you exceed the limit, your SRS would be simply be reduced or suspended. Therefore, there’s no point in your asking OPM to not provide that benefit to you. In fact, I’m not sure that they could do that.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. I have set a voluntary retirement date of 8/6/16 at age 63 1/2. I have been with the VA full-time and with FERS since 2008. I do not plan to take Social Security until I turn 66. How much can I earn under a FERS limit before I would be penalized for those earnings, (similar to the $15,800 limit – I believe – under Social Security)?

    • There isn’t any FERS limit. If you were reemployed, your salray would simply be reduced by the amount of your annuity.

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