Phased retirement reality. Now what?

Federal agencies that have been waiting for somebody else to take the phased retirement plunge can relax.

The Environmental Protection Agency told employees yesterday that a phased retirement program is now available for most eligible EPA employees. The agency still in talks with the National Treasury Employees Union over phased retirement for union-covered workers.

Under the EPA version, phased retirement can be offered to retirement-eligible, full-time employees. They will be allowed to work half-time (40 hours during an 80-hour pay-period). Half their income will be from their federal salary and half from the CSRS or FERS annuity due them.

Workers selected for the program must spend 20 percent of their time mentoring other workers. Those selected for the phased retirement program must have been employed on a full-time basis for three years prior to going into PR. They must also be eligible for immediate retirement under either the FERS or CSRS programs.

Congress approved the PR program several years ago. OPM gave its seal of approval sometime later. The “problem” is that the guidelines give agencies lots of leeway as to how the program will work, and how long people can go part-time.  Some tentatively set the part-time hours for a 6-month period. Others said selected employees could, in some instances, go part-time for up to 3 years. HUD and the Library of Congress are among agencies that have developed programs.

The latest, from the EPA, could inspire (put pressure) on other agencies to get moving. Meantime, the bottom line for you is, if you get an offer, should you take it.

Last September, we had a special Your Turn radio show with benefits expert Tammy Flanagan. She outlined how it will most likely. To listen to that show, with a Q & A on the PR program, click here.

Your TSP Account: Are you doing it all wrong? Are you investing enough, in the right funds, to make your retirement a personal version of “Happy Days”? Or are you being too cautious. Are you selling when you should be buying? And what about the role of life insurance in your long-range nest egg production?  For the answers, listen to our Your Turn radio show today at 10 a.m. ET.  Our guest is Allan Roth. He writes for The Wall Street Journal and contributes a regular column for AARP. Roth’s motto is “Dare to be dull”.  In other words, investing shouldn’t be thrilling or frightening. He often quotes Warren Buffett who famously said, “Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies.”

So what’s that mean for you? Listen to Roth today. If you have questions for him you can email them to me (before showtime) at mcausey@federalnewsradio.com. Or call in during the show at 202-465-3080. After all, it’s your money!

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

With a top speed of 0.003 miles per hour, the three-toed sloth is the slowest animal in the world.

Source: Daily News Dig

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