A recently offered House bill (HR-4268) would allow federal employees to make deposits into the retirement fund to have time spent in temporary positions count in their length of service for purposes of meeting retirement eligibility requirements and in the calculation of an annuity.
“This bill ensures that federal employees who started their careers as temporary workers – meaning they did not have the ability to make retirement contributions – are granted the opportunity to make catch-up retirement contributions so that they can retire on time. Without this option, workers have expressed that they face an unfair choice: leave the federal service without full retirement benefits or work longer than expected to obtain full retirement benefits,” sponsors said on introducing the bill.
They noted that a prior authority allowing for making such deposits for so-called “non-deduction service” was ended in 1989 as part of the transition to the then-new FERS retirement system. The bill would allow employees hired since then to buy back the time they served as temporary federal employees under the same terms that were in place prior to that year.
The measure has the support of federal unions, the Federal Managers Association and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, among other groups.