DOD issues phased retirement policies

The Defense Department released a memorandum laying out guidelines for its phased retirement program. Policies outlined in the directive became effective June 21.

Those eligible for DOD phased retirement include: (1) Civil Service Retirement System employees who are at least age 55, and eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service; or who are at least 60 with at least 20 years of service; (2) Federal Employees Retirement System employees eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service, and who have reached minimum retirement age (55 to 57, depending on her birth year), or who have at least 20 years of service and are at least 60 years old.

Those employees also must have been employed on a full-time basis for at least a consecutive three-year period ending on the effective date of entry into phased retirement status.

The directive noted that employees who qualify for retirement under the special retirement program for law enforcement officers, firefighters, nuclear materials couriers, and air traffic controllers are not eligible for the program.

With rare exceptions, employees in the program will work half the number of hours worked before entering phased retirement, and will spend 20 percent of their time in mentoring activities.

To apply, eligible employees need to complete and submit Standard Form 3116, “Phased Employment/Phased Retirement Status Elections,” along with any appropriate documentation, to an authorized DOD component official—who must approve the application in writing and establish a time limit for the period of phased retirement. If the application is approved, the employee then will work with his or her human resources office to transition into phased retirement status.

DOD components will decide whether or not to grant phased retirement to an employee based on a range of criteria, such as whether an employee holds a mission critical or emergency essential position, or has knowledge that needs to be transferred, among others factors. 

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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