Expert's View

Heads up, retirees. There’s a new law in town: Public Law 111-84, which allows federal agencies to waive the former requirement that the salary of a retiree retuning to work for the government be offset by the amount of his or her annuity.

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However, this being the government, there are controls on how the new law can be applied. First, in order for an agency to allow you to collect both your annuity and the salary of a position, your employment must meet one of the following purposes: fulfill functions that are critical to the agency or one of its components; assist in the implementation or oversight of the American Recovery and Investment Act or the Troubled Asset Relief Program; assist in the development, management or oversight of the agency’s procurement effort; assist in the performance of an agency’ inspector general functions; promote the training or mentoring programs of employees, assist in the recruitment or retention of employees; or respond to an emergency involving a direct threat to life or property or other unusual circumstance (not specified).

 

Second, such appointments are temporary and limited. During the first six months after you retire, the maximum amount of time for which you could be hired is 540 hours. The maximum amount of time over any 12-month period is 1,040 hours. And the lifetime maximum is 3,120 hours.

 

Third, the number of such waivers can’t exceed 2.5 percent of the number of full-time employees an agency already has, and, if the percentage exceeds 1 percent, a justification will have to be submitted.

 

Fourth, unless renewed, this authority will expire in 2014.

 

So there you have it. While some of you may qualify for such a waiver under the criteria above, receiving an appointment will be dependent on other things, including the availability of money to pay your salary.