The following is a question submitted by a Federal Times readers about retirement and other issues facing the federal workforce. It is answered by Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and a Federal Times columnist since 1995.
Question: My situation is that I have 32 plus years federal civilian service, approximately 10 with DoD and the remainder with DOI. My plan is to retire winter 2023 and possibly later that year try to get hired as federal civilian with DoD again. If I retire from DOI then get reemployed with DoD, once I finally leave DoD in the future, will I then be classified as a DoD retiree and no longer DOI? Will my retirement paperwork and SF50 show I’m a DoD Civilian retired? What if I was rehired and after only a full pay period I chose to leave, retire for good, would my paperwork document that I’m now a DoD retired?
Reg’s Response: Retirees no longer have an agency affiliation. Your identification card will read “The individual named below is a member of the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees’ Retirement System”. Below that will be your CSA (Civil Service Annuitant) Claim Number and your full name.
If you are reemployed by the federal government, how you salary will be treated depends on the nature of the rehire. As a rule, your salary would be reduced by the amount of your annuity. That would have no affect on either your annuity or your entitlement to continue receiving what you are now getting in the special retirement supplement.
Because you are covered by FERS, retirement deductions would be taken from your pay. When you leave, your annuity would be recomputed to include that period of service. However, if you are rehired in a position that allows you to receive both your annuity and the salary of the new position, no retirement deductions would be taken from your pay and, when you retire again, you would not receive any retirement credit for that period of service.
You are entitled to a lump sum payment for unused annual leave. It is projected forward - day by day - as if you were still on the employment roll. Therefore, if you return to work before that covered period has ended, you would be required to repay the dollar value of the unused portion in full before you assume your new position.
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Reg Jones is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. From 1977 to 1979, he was deputy director of the Bureau of Policies and Standards in the U.S. Civil Service Commission. The opinions expressed are his own.