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, 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!

Sun, Jun 3, 2018

I work for the USPS. I spent five years as temp worker (TE/PSE) and have been a full time career employee for four years. I am 50 years old. Would I be eligible for a reduced retirement next year since I will have worked five years as a full-time employee and have ten years combined?

Wed, Apr 18, 2018

I started as a seasonal employee in 1988. I’ve bought that time back. I have 2.5 years after that I’d love to buy. Hope this passes and becomes law.

Mon, Apr 16, 2018

When will they decide this? They are so disconnected from federal employees, no oversight by any on the new proposed agenda of benefits. It will be another quick push thru that no one reads. Just Votes

Wed, Mar 28, 2018

Don’t worry about the temp employees. They knew they were temp. Worry about your career employees that government is trying to stiff.

Show All Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above


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

Free E-Newsletter


I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question