The Commerce Department has just joined other federal agencies in offering approved retirement-eligible employees phased retirement, allowing them to continue working part-time while transitioning out of federal service. During the transition they’ll be collecting a prorated salary plus about half of their accrued annuity for up to two years—a period longer than has been the typical opportunity in other agencies that have offered phased retirement. The idea is to retain employees for a short time to mentor their replacements and for continuity of mission requirements. Commerce says it arrived at the program details in collaboration with its unions. Commerce joins the Defense Department as major agencies announcing the startup of phased retirement programs this year, joining Justice, Labor, Energy and a dozen mostly smaller, independent agencies in offering the option.