I would consider this option. It seems that it would benefit both the agency and the retiree with the transition. When all you know is to get up and go to work every day, then you do not have that [retirement] focus (unless you are fortunate enough to not be a widow/widower and have plans with your mate in retirement). The finality of retirement would be less.
Plus, knowledge and experience sometimes just can’t be written in a continuity book!
I work for the Department of Defense with the Air Force and have for the past 28 years.
Katherine N. Lane
Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
I think this is a great idea. It is a win-win. The individual can prepare for retirement at his own pace. The agency benefits because they can still tap into the knowledge that the individual has. This will help agencies from making mistakes that they solved years ago but there is nobody left to remember that solution. Additionally, the agency can have the part time retiree mentor the new people coming into the agency. The agency has a vacancy and can hire a person to do those duties while the retiree mentors him.
Phased retirement looks quite inviting if the numbers work out as they would seem to from the proposal itself (any fed knows that until the Office of Personnel Management writes the regs and updates the policies regarding pay and benefits, calculations are merely speculative at this time).
Working 20 hours a week while getting 50 percent salary and 50 percent pension should make the transition easier for both the employee and the agency. Instead of going from 60 (employed) to zero (retired) in one step, you get to go 60 to 30 (part time) to zero over a year or so, giving you and the agency a chance to work through the change and at no financial disadvantage. Of course, OPM is having trouble paying pensions timely as it is, and this new option likely would make that job just a bit more complicated.
Social Security Administration
The work phaseout bill is definitely a good thing for both the agencies and the federal workers. Most universities recognized the value of this kind of program decades ago.
For the agencies, such as mine (National Science Foundation), it diminishes the concern that there will be a mass exodus of senior personnel. I believe that 30 percent of the professional workforce here is qualified to retire. Another aspect is that although it is hard to fire underperforming employees, you don’t have to offer them part-time work if you want them gone once they have retired. So I believe only the productive employees would be offered this option.
From the employee perspective, this is desirable so that you do not go from intense full-time work to nothing in one step. That is a hard adjustment to make for many! In fact, it is really already happening to a modest extent, as former salaried employees become contractors when their skills are needed. There are already categories like “intermittent expert” that can be used to get part-time work from former full-time employees.
National Science Foundation
I am a 38-year employee of [the Department of Veterans Affairs]. Because of the lack of salary increases and the continued threat of tighter and tighter budgets, I really don’t see the part-time retirement as very attractive. Earning part-time benefits to increase your retirement annuity is not going to make much difference. And by working part time and getting a reduced retirement check, I just perpetuate having a lower salary.
My other options? I am considering getting a part-time job in the private sector to increase my Social Security work history. ...
Now, I would rather have my full retirement annuity and then be able to work part time for two years on top of earning my full annuity. That would entice me to stay.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Iowa City VA Health Care System