Part-time reemployment of federal retirees

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On March 18 Senator Susan M. Collins of Maine reintroduced a bill that would make it possible for retired federal employees to work part-time for the federal government in some cases without it affecting their retirement annuity payment.

Under the bill, rehired retirees would be limited to working 65 days in the first six months following retirement and 130 days in any 12-month period. Retirees would only be able to work a maximum of 390 days in their lifetime. If they continue to work after that, their salaries would be reduced by the amount of their annuities.

The bill was originally introduced in 2007 but it died in committee. It was opposed by unions who said agencies would abuse the authority and rehire retirees instead of recruiting and developing a new generation of federal employees.

Currently it is possible for the Departments of Agricuture and Interior to rehire retirees with a waiver of dual compensation for emergencies such as ongoing fires.  The Interior Department has done this several times over the last 5-10 years, but the U.S. Forest Service has been loathe to use the authority.  This new bill appears to make it possible to rehire retirees without there being a fire-like emergency.

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