You waited a long time for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to draw up the rules governing phased retirement.

It took almost two years for OPM to devise the regulations, which allows federal employees to work part-time and collect a portion of their pension so that they still receive, in effect, full-time pay. Whether you want to take a phased retirement is entirely up to you. An agency can’t force that on you.

But, according to the rules, agencies are also given the option as to whether they want to implement a phased retirement option for their employees. It’s voluntary for them too.

And so far, the flood gates of phased retirement have not opened — not even a trickle. While federal workers have expressed interest in taking a phased retirement, the OPM has yet to receive a single application, Federal Times reported. The publication also asked OPM whether any agencies have developed a phased retirement plan for their employees — each agency can tailor the program to fit their needs.

However, Federal Times discovered that no agencies submitted a phased retirement plan to OPM.

Several agencies, including the Health and Human Services Department, Social Security Administration, Interior Department, and Department of Homeland Security, said they are either still developing a plan or considering whether they want to implement one.

Congress may wade into the issue if the delay becomes prolonged, or indefinitely delayed, a tactic agencies usually engage in if they are not interested in implementing new rules from OPM or Congress.

But for federal workers who wanted the opportunity to spend less time at work and begin preparing for their transition into retirement, these delays certainly hurt their plans.

We’ll keep you posted on any changes. If the flood gates open, we’ll let you know. For now though, it appears like phased retirement isn’t much of an option today. We suggest you begin thinking about other ways to smooth the road to retirement.

However as you well know with the U.S. government, situations can change on a whim, or face indefinite delay.

It took a long time for OPM to draw up the rules. Unfortunately, now we just have to wait for them to be implemented.



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