'Rare exceptions' to salary reduction upon re-employment


Q. What are the “rare exceptions” to having your salary reduced by your annuity amount when re-entering the federal job market? What if the job pays less than my annuity?

I see the following over and over in the forums, but no additional info:

“As a rule, your salary would be offset by the amount of your annuity and you would be able to contribute to the retirement fund. If you worked for a full year, you’d receive a supplemental annuity; if you worked for five years, you’d receive a redetermined annuity. On the other hand, there are certain limited authorities that would allow you to return to work and receive both your full annuity and the full salary of your new position. However, you would not be permitted to contribute to the retirement fund and, when you retired again, you wouldn’t be eligible for any additional retirement benefits.”

What types of federal positions are referenced above?

A. Section 9902 of Title 5, U.S. Code, allows the Defense Department to rehire annuitants, regardless of which agency they retire from, without an offset. The same is true of the FBI, under Public Law 108-458. And the intelligence community under Public Law 108-458. In addition, an agency can request Office of Personnel Management approval on a case-by-case basis. However, the use of these authorities is strictly limited, usually involving an immediate need for unique or specialized skills, extreme difficulty in hiring, or an emergency. They are often filled on a short-term, time-limited basis.

Limited-time appointments may also be made under Public Law 111-84 when an agency concludes that it’s necessary to carry out certain critical functions. That authority is limited to 520 hours during the six months following an employee’s annuity commencing date or 1,040 hours during any 12-month period. The lifetime maximum is 3,120 hours.

There are other, even more limited opportunities involving the re-employment of Foreign Service annuitants, re-employment into acquisition positions, re-employment under a personal services contract, etc.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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