President Bush on Tuesday signed an executive order making it easier for retired CIA employees to return to work to help in the war on terrorism. Bush's executive order was published in the Federal Register Thursday. Under normal circumstances, re-employed CIA employees are required by law to have their retirement annuities suspended or reduced if they return to government service. The executive order gives the director of the CIA authority to waive such reductions for employees who return on a temporary basis, "only if, and for so long as, the authority is necessary due to an emergency involving a direct threat to life or property or other unusual circumstances." However, retired CIA employees who return to work on a temporary basis may not earn additional retirement benefits while they are re-employed, the order states. The executive order was not issued at the CIA's request, a CIA spokesman said. The dual compensation waiver may be applied to any retired CIA employee who is re-hired under the order's specifications, not just to those who are specifically recalled to work. Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Office of Personnel Management also gave agency heads the authority to grant dual compensation waivers to retirees from other government agencies. The CIA announced on Wednesday that a CIA employee was the first American killed in combat in Afghanistan since U.S. bombing there began.
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