Bill would give former temp feds earlier retirement

Federal workers who were originally hired as temporary employees, but then later converted to a full-time employee will be able to retire sooner under a bill introduced this week.

Under the bipartisan legislation—the Federal Retirement Fairness Act—employees who transitioned into full-time positions will be able to retroactively contribute to their retirements for the time they worked as temporary employees.

Currently, former temporary federal employees do not have the same retirement benefits as full-time employees and are offered two options: retire with a lower level of benefits than their counterparts, or work for more years to receive the same benefits. 

“This bill lets people retire securely and on time. Workers shouldn’t have to put their physical health at risk because some government red tape says they should work longer than their peers,” Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) said in a statement.

The federal government changed its retirement system in 1989, and the first generation of retirees under the change is now feeling its effects.

When the government switched to the new retirement system, the authority for the buy-backs ended; the bill would solve this problem by making the authority law.

Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) also supports the bill, contending that it is only right that [federal employees] receive the accurate benefits for the years that they worked.” 

Reader comments

Thu, Oct 4, 2018 Janet Ramos Mabank P.O.

Started as a substitute rural mail carrier in 2001 at age 45. Was substitute for 13 half yrs. Now, 61 an 3 herniated disc later from rt. Would be 5 yrs as regular sept. 2018, if they didnt count lwop against me had to take last two yrs. Two days a week, on heavy days. As i worked with pain level 7. Would love too have early buy out or buy back. How can we find out how or if its possible.

Wed, Sep 26, 2018 Vanessa San Antonio, TX

I started my postal career in June 2012. I would love to have my time count towards my postal retirement in the future. I have about 5 years all together in my non career status.

Wed, Aug 29, 2018 CareerFed

We haven't heard anything on the H.R.5389 - Federal Retirement Fairness Act - lately. Any change in status?

Wed, Aug 22, 2018

I have worked for the USPS for 5 years as a part time employee that really worked full time.I am coming up on 20 years and never had the opportunity to buy back my 5 temp years, when this bill passes I could retire with close to 28 years and have a more comfortable retirement for me this is a big deal.

Thu, Jun 7, 2018

I began my federal career in 1988, as what is now called a term position. I will have 30 years in soon, but 4.5 years don't count towards my retirement. My months prior to Jan. 1, 1989 is time allowed to be bought back, but time after that date is not. Co-workers in the same exact job as myself, hired after that date, have the majority of their time count for retirement. This means that people in my building who were hired a few years after myself, have more years in for retirement computation than I do, and we were all hired for the same position description. I 100% agree with this Bill, and it is a matter of Fairness!

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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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