Bill would allow retirees to return with full pay

Legislation introduced in the Senate late last week would allow federal retirees to return to government service without taking pay cuts.

The bill, unveiled by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Friday is a top priority of Office of Personnel Management Director Linda Springer, and is backed by a range of retiree and good government groups. Some labor union officials have expressed concern about its potential implications for current federal workers.

Now, the salaries of federal retirees who re-enter the workforce are cut by the amount of their pensions. Collins' bill would allow them to earn full salaries if they returned on a temporary basis.

"Human resources research has repeatedly shown that . . . older workers equal or outperform younger workers" in a number of areas, including mentoring, Collins said. "Making good use of their talents is . . . not charity. It is common sense and sound management."

"It is crucial that we take measures to minimize the effects of this 'brain drain'" caused by retirements, said Max Stier, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, in a letter expressing support for Collins' legislation. "Your legislation . . . will encourage seasoned employees to continue their service to government and allow agencies to tap a needed source of talent."

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the Federal Managers Association and the Council for Excellence in Government also have signaled their support.

But during an Aug. 2 hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia, J. David Cox, national secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Government Employees, expressed concerns that allowing retirees to return to the workforce might block promotion opportunities for younger employees. Cox did agree with supporters that retirees could play a valuable role in training and mentoring a new generation of federal workers.

Collins' bill, which is co-sponsored by Sens. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, and John Warner, R.-Va., would place limits on the number of hours returning retirees could work. They would be capped at 68 days in the first six months after their pension payments began, 130 days in the first year and 780 days total. Collins said 4,500 retirees already have returned to the workforce under waiver provisions, and her bill would allow more to return to targeted projects.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.