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Retirement Services Retirement FAQs

Go to our new customer support center to get answers to top questions, learn about popular topics, and find resources for more support.

  • The program will become effective at the time set in the regulations to be issued.  Implementation of the program is an important goal of OPM, and this will be accomplished as soon as possible.  
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  • To understand the concept of Phased Retirement, consider two half-time employees who fill one full-time job.  Employee one retires while employee two continues working.  Employee one receives an annuity based on half-time employment, and employee two continues to work half-time for half-pay.  Eventually, employee two retires, and receives an annuity based upon half-time service, including credit for the time worked after employee one retired.  Now assume that employee one and employee two are the same person.  That is in essence how Phased Retirement operates.  While there are additional computational details, these are the basics.  At entry into Phased Retirement, the employee’s annuity will be completed as if fully retired and then divided by two.  That annuity would be paid while the individual worked a half time schedule receiving half pay.  When the Phased Retiree fully retires, there will be a computation of the annuity that would be payable if the employee had been employed full time and then divided by two prior to adjustment for survivor benefits.  That amount would then be added to the original Phased Retirement Annuity, and that combined amount would then provide the basis for survivor annuity adjustment and benefits. The individual’s income during partial and full retirement appropriately reflects the individual’s situation.  During the partial retirement period, the income will be between full retirement and full employment, and the Phased Retiree would be increasing their lifetime retirement income.  At the time of full retirement, the individual would be appropriately compensated for the value of both full-time and part-time service, with an annuity greater than if they had fully retired at the time of transition to Phased Retirement, but less than if the individual had continued employment on a full-time basis during the period of Phased Retirement.
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  • Contact your agency’s Benefits Officer.  A complete list of Benefits Officers by agency can be found at http://apps.opm.gov/abo/.
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  • No unused sick leave can be used in the computation of the Phased Retirement annuity.  However, at full retirement the unused sick leave will be taken into account.  While the computational provisions are somewhat complex, the value of the sick leave in that computation will be the same as for an individual retiring from a full-time position.
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  • Participation is entirely voluntary, and requires the mutual consent of both the employee and employing agency.  In order to participate, an individual must have been employed on a full-time basis for the preceding three years.  Under CSRS, the individual must be eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service at age 55, or with 20 years of service at age 60.  Under FERS, the individual must be eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service at MRA (minimum retirement age 55-57 depending upon year of birth), or with 20 years of service at age 60.
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  • Generally, you must decide which benefit is most advantageous for you and elect to receive that one. If you decide you want to receive Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) benefits, payments from the Office of Personnel Management will be suspended. But, if your OWCP benefits stop, you can ask us to pay your disability benefit. You can receive an OWCP Scheduled Award and the Office of Personnel Management benefits at the same time. Contact us to tell us if you are awarded workers' compensation benefits and see if you need to make an election between benefits. Refer to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) for additional information about workers' compensation benefits.
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  • Please refer to our answer about powers of attorney.
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  • When we approve your application for disability retirement, we may determine that based on your medical condition you will periodically have to provide us with current medical information in order to continue receiving benefits.
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  • Please refer to our answers about payment information.
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  • Phased Retirement will encourage the most experienced Federal employees to extend their contributions to the Nation, and will operate as a tool to ensure continuity of operations and to facilitate knowledge management. The main purpose of Phased Retirements is to enhance mentoring and training of the employees who will be filling the positions of more experienced employees who are preparing for full retirement.  It is intended to encourage experienced employees to remain, in at least a part-time capacity, until less experienced employees are fully equipped to fulfill the same duties and responsibilities as those employees who wish to retire.  An effective Phased Retirement plan has been a long-sought goal.  However, under prior law, the problem was that an individual who was retirement eligible but wished to continue employment on a part-time basis generally had little economic incentive to do so because an employee’s potential retirement benefits would often be equal to or greater than their salary would be for part-time employment. Phased Retirement will in essence permit an individual to retire from part of their employment, while continuing the remainder and continuing to earn additional retirement benefits proportionately based upon the additional less-than-full-time employment.
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Total Count: 23, Number of Pages: 3, Page: 1
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