DoD has issued policies for phased retirement, joining what has up to now been a relatively sort list of mostly small agencies that have made that benefit available to employees since it formally took effect in November 2014. In phased retirement, those eligible for retirement under certain combinations and who are not subject to mandatory retirement, can be offered the chance to change to half-time work while receiving half of their accrued annuities. However, even where available, phased retirement has not been commonly used so far—according to published reports, fewer than 100 employees government-wide, scattered across barely more than a dozen agencies. As the largest employer of federal workers, DoD’s action to start its program could expand that number greatly, although by how much and how soon is still to be seen. Granting phased retirement to employees who are eligible and interested is a matter of management’s discretion. The DoD policy contains considerations including whether the employee “is willing and able to meet” requirement of spending 20 percent of their working time mentoring other employees, “how the employee’s change in work schedule will affect the work unit’s ability to meet goals and objectives,” whether the employee holds a mission-critical or emergency-essential position, and “whether the employee has knowledge that needs to be transferred,” among others.
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