There apparently is some misunderstanding in the federal workforce regarding the “phased retirement” plan recently approved by the Senate as part of a transportation bill (S-1813).

The measure envisions that employees typically would work half-time and thus would draw half of the position’s pay rate and their annuity, although working time could range from 20 to 80 percent.

However, contrary to what some employees seem to believe, the option wouldn’t offer a new route to become eligible to retire; it would be available only for those already to retire under standard age and service combinations. For example, someone several years from retirement eligibility would not be allowed to begin drawing an annuity earlier than normal and work part-time until regular retirement eligibility.

The bill has been set aside in the House, which might not take it up for several more months.