OPM issues phased retirement regulations

The Office of Personnel Management on Aug. 7 issued its long-awaited final regulations on phased retirement. The new program will allow eligible full-time employees to work part-time while drawing a portion of their retirement benefits.

The final regulations will take effect 90 days from their official publication on Aug. 8, OPM said, and agencies can begin to send phased retirement applications to OPM for processing as early as Nov. 6.

Employee groups welcomed the release of the regulations for the program, which was authorized more than two years. ago.

“For many federal employees, this program has been a long time in coming,” commented National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley, who said the union now will work to encourage agencies to make the program as broadly available as possible.

“We will be talking to the agencies where NTEU represents employees about establishing a phased retirement program and all the details that surround it," she said. "We will also make use of labor-management forums and collective bargaining opportunities to bring the program to life.”

Employees wishing to enter phased retirement must obtain the approval of their agencies. Those who enter the program will receive a partial annuity while continuing to accrue credit toward their final annuity. Under the program—which is designed in large part to allow experienced employees to pass their skills on to the workforce—participants are required to spend at least 20 percent of their time mentoring other agency employees.

Each agency will have the flexibility to decide which employees are eligible for the program, and to implement the mentoring component in a way that best suits the agency and its employees.

OPM said that next it will provide agencies with further guidance for establishing the program.

Reader comments

Mon, Aug 11, 2014

I am sure most agencies/bureaus will drag their heels as they personalize the program with added administrivia including regulations and policies. I work for one of the worst when it come to adding far too much policy.

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