Rehiring Retired Federal Employees

Federal agencies have the authority to hire retired federal employees without a reduction in their federal pension benefit. There are requirements that must be met by agencies and restrictions on the hiring authority.

Since the authority to rehire retired federal employees without a loss in their pension benefits, a number of readers have asked about the implementation of this new provision.

The changes are important to federal retirees because the new law allows employees to earn an additional salary on top of their federal pensions.

The Office of Personnel Management has issued a memo to agencies with this subject: “Reemployment of civilian retirees under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010”.

The OPM memo says that agencies may begin using the new authority granted by the National Defense Authorization Act. When agency uses this authority, it must adhere to the following:

    • Agencies must report to OPM on their use of this authority no later than February 1, 2010, and no later than February 1 of each year through 2015;
    • Appointments are limited to one-year or less;
    • Hours worked by any annuitant reemployed under these provisions are limited to 520 during the first 6 months of retirement, 1,040 during any 12-month period, and 3,120 for total hours worked during any period;
    • Reemployment may not exceed 2.5 percent of the full-time workforce at any time, and if 1 percent is exceeded agencies are required to provide an explanation and justification to the Congress and OPM.

The authority for this program expires on October 27, 2014.

OPM does plan to issue regulations on the topic. Before these regulations are issued, they will be published in the Federal Register for comments.

The new regulations will require agencies to do keep this information:

    • The name of the individual for whom the waiver is being requested;
    • The appointing authority the agency intends to use to reemploy the annuitant;
    • The position to which the agency intends to reemploy the annuitant.

Since the agencies have not been told they can use this authority, and the records they have to keep when they use the authority, OPM wants agencies to begin maintaining their case files immediately, and report to OPM on February 1, 2010 on use of this authority through December 31, 2009.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47