Amendment “Easing Workers into Retirement” Approved in Senate


Thursday, the Senate passed an amendment to allow federal workers nearing retirement to move to part-time schedules as their retirement date nears. The proposal allows employees to continue their normal jobs (with reduced hours) in addition to mentoring younger employees as they prepare to take over upon their retirement.

Affected workers would be eligible to receive a partial annuity as well as credit toward their retirement working in the new role. This new policy could provide a great benefit to aging workers interested in phasing-in their retirement over a longer period, rather than dropping out of the workforce abruptly as they do today.

“We are very supportive of allowing phased retirement for workers looking to pass their knowledge to the next generation,” said NFFE National President Dougan, “These workers have often dedicated decades of their lives to public service, and this measure will allow them to share that resolve with their successors.”

The amendment, introduced by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), is attached to the Senate version of the multi-billion dollar Surface Transportation Bill. As you may recall, amendments to the House version of the Surface Transportation Bill, H.R. 7, calls for steep cuts to the pension benefits of federal employees. In both cases, NFFE is unsupportive of using federal worker issues as add-on’s or ‘pay-for’s’ for legislation that has nothing to do with the federal workforce.

“Although we are supportive of giving employees the opportunity to retire on their own terms, we should not be using these savings to fund projects unrelated to the federal workforce,” said Dougan, in reference to a rural development project paid for by the retirement change. “Federal workers and their agencies have already suffered massive cuts to their bottom lines. We shouldn’t be looking to squeeze even more savings from the federal workforce who have already given so much.”