Green Light

Civilian Department of Defense workers, who may be interested in “phasing into retirement,” can breathe a sigh of relief, as a long-awaited phased retirement program has become a reality, under a directive-type DOD memorandum, released June 21.  

In August 2014, about two years after President Barack Obama signed a measure calling on federal agencies to offer a phased retirement program, the Office of Personnel Management issued a final rule establishing the federal government phased retirement program. 

The phased retirement program allows full-time, retirement eligible DOD employees to voluntarily “request to work on a part-time basis and receive a portion of their retirement annuity,” the memo said.

Phased retirement program participants must have been full-time employees “for at least a consecutive 3 year period ending on the effective date of entry into phased retirement status,” and they must obtain consent from a DOD official, the memo said.

Employees under the phased retirement program are allowed to work 50 percent of the number of hours they were working immediately prior to entering the program, the memo said. Employees in the phased retirement status can be allowed to work over the 50 percent working schedule only in “rare and exceptional circumstances,” it said.

Also, “phasing” retirees are required to spend at least 20 percent of their working hours mentoring other employees, except during emergencies or other “unusual circumstances,” the memo said. 

Eligibility for the phased retirement program is extended to civilian DOD workers, who meet age and service retirements under the Federal Employees Retirement System or the Civil Service Retirement System, the memo said.

On the other hand, the phased retirement program is not available for “employees who qualify for retirement under the special retirement program for law enforcement officers, firefighters, nuclear materials couriers, or air traffic controllers,” the memo said.

The DOD employs more than 700,000 civilian workers in the U.S. and abroad.

See related story, DOD Offering ‘Phased Retirement’ to Civilian Workers. 

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