OPM Issues Guidance on Phased Retirement

Last week the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released guidance on the phased retirement option for eligible federal employees. The law authorizing phased retirement, part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), was passed last summer. 

According to OPM, the purpose of phased retirement is to allow the federal government to continue to benefit from the services of experienced employees who might otherwise choose to retire. While an agency must agree to a phased retirement arrangement, all retirement-eligible employees working full time in federal service for the previous three years are eligible.

Many federal law-enforcement employees and other employees subject to mandatory retirement, such as most Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and air traffic controllers, are not eligible for the option.

Employees who work under phased retirement will be able to draw on half of their earned retirement benefits while continuing to work part-time. While working, employees under phased retirement will continue to accrue additional benefits, such as health benefits, the Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) benefit, survivor benefits, and annuity garnishment protection, as if the retiree were still a full-time employee.

Employees who continue their federal service under phased retirement are required to dedicate at least twenty (20) percent of their time to mentoring activities. Such mentoring is intended to facilitate transfer of institutional knowledge from experienced employees to their developing colleagues. The mentoring requirement must be approved by an authorized agency official.

Posted in General News

Tags: OPM, phased retirement, MAP-21


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