Legislation Introduced To Make It Easier To Rehire Federal Retirees

Senator Herb Kohl

 From Government Executive:

Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., introduced two bills on Tuesday to make it easier for agencies to bring back and retain retirees to meet the government’s critical workforce needs. The first bill would allow federal retirees to return to work without having their salaries reduced by the amount of their pension payments. The second piece of legislation would grant employees under the Civil Service Retirement System who work part-time instead of retiring pro-rated credit that would count toward their annuity payments. read full story


Here’s a summary of the three bills introduced this week:
The Older Worker Opportunity Act of 2009, sponsored by Senators Kohl and Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Many older workers seek workplace flexibility in order to pursue hobbies or visit the grandkids, and many need flexibility to care for a loved one. This bill would diminish the barriers to part-time work for older workers, such as loss of health coverage and decreased pension benefits, by providing a tax credit for employers that employ older workers (age 62+) in flexible work programs. The credit equals 25 percent of an older worker’s wages, and expires after 2012. To be eligible, employers must (1) provide a qualified pension plan and (2) provide health insurance coverage and pay at least 60 percent of its cost. A “flexible work program” provides a full- or part- time flexible work schedule and full pension and health care benefits. This arrangement must be available to an older worker for at least one year and must be widely available to rank and file employees.
A bill to make it easier to rehire federal annuitants, sponsored by Senators Kohl and Susan Collins (R-ME).
This bill would allow the federal government to rehire federal retirees part-time, without forcing the employee to reduce their salary by their pension amount, as under current law. While the individuals would receive both salary and annuity payments, they would not be considered employees for the purposes of retirement and would receive no additional retirement benefits based on their service.
A bill to allow phased retirement for federal employees under the CSRS, sponsored by Senators Kohl and George Voinovich (R-OH).
This legislation would change the computation of Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuities involving part-time service by correcting an anomaly that creates a disincentive for employees nearing the end of their careers who would like to phase into retirement by working part-time.  Specifically, the legislation would clarify that CSRS annuities, based in whole or in part on part-time service, should be pro-rated for the period of service that was performed on a part-time basis.  The correction allows agencies, as part of their succession planning efforts, to retain the expertise of senior staff who wish to work on a part-time basis at the end of their federal careers.