OPM’s Advice on Seeking Phased Retirement

OPM recently issued guidance on the new phased retirement program emphasizing that the first step for employees eligible and interested is to speak with their immediate manager. Afterward, it said, they should speak with the personnel office to get a retirement annuity estimate—which may take “some time” to receive, especially as agencies initially get their programs up and running. OPM adds: “Retirement of any type is a major life decision and you should understand all of your retirement options, as well as the impact working part time will have on your future retirement annuity when you fully retire if you choose phased retirement. You should ask for estimates showing what you would receive if you retired now, if you continue working full-time, and if you choose phased retirement.Once you’ve considered your options and have your agency’s approval, the next step is to fill out the phased retirement election form for approval by your agency. Once your agency approves the form, it will then be submitted to OPM for processing.” OPM has said it will be ready to start processing such applications November 6, although how widely the option will be used, at least initially, is uncertain.