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Title 5 Part 848 → Subpart B

Title 5 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 848 → Subpart B

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 5 Part 848 → Subpart B

e-CFR data is current as of December 10, 2019

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 848 → Subpart B


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 848—PHASED RETIREMENT


§848.201   Eligibility.

(a) A retirement-eligible employee, as defined in paragraphs (b) and (c), may elect to enter phased retirement status if the employee has been employed on a full-time basis for not less than the 3-year period ending on the effective date of phased retirement status under §848.203.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, a retirement-eligible employee means an employee who, if separated from the service, would meet the requirements for retirement under subsection (a) or (b) of 5 U.S.C. 8412.

(c) A retirement-eligible employee does not include—

(1) A member of the Capitol Police or Supreme Court Police, or an employee occupying a law enforcement officer, firefighter, nuclear materials courier, air traffic controller, or customs and border protection officer position, except a customs and border protection officer who is exempt from mandatory separation and retirement under 5 U.S.C. 8325 pursuant to section 535(e)(2)(A) of Division E of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Public Law 110-161;

(2) An individual eligible to retire under 5 U.S.C. 8412(d) or (e): or

(3) An employee covered by a special work schedule authority that does not allow for a regularly recurring part-time schedule, such as a firefighter covered by 5 U.S.C. 5545b or a nurse covered by 38 U.S.C. 7456 or 7456A.

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§848.202   Working percentage and officially established hours for phased employment.

(a) For the purpose of this subpart, working percentage means the percentage of full-time equivalent employment equal to the quotient obtained by dividing—

(1) The number of officially established hours per pay period to be worked by a phased retiree, as described in paragraph (b) of this section; by

(2) The number of hours per pay period to be worked by an employee serving in a comparable position on a full-time basis.

(b) The number of officially established hours per pay period to be worked by an employee in phased retirement status must equal one-half the number of hours the phased retiree would have been scheduled to work had the phased retiree remained in a full-time work schedule and not elected to enter phased retirement status. These hours make up the officially established part-time work schedule of the phased retiree and exclude any additional hours worked under §848.205(j).

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§848.203   Application for phased retirement.

(a) To elect to enter phased retirement status, a retirement-eligible employee covered by §848.201 must—

(1) Submit to an authorized agency official a written and signed request to enter phased employment, on a form prescribed by OPM;

(2) Obtain the signed written approval of an authorized agency official to enter phased employment; and

(3) File an application for phased retirement, in accordance with §841.202.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, an applicant for phased retirement may withdraw his or her application any time before the election becomes effective, but not thereafter.

(c) An applicant for phased retirement may not withdraw his or her application after OPM has received a certified copy of a court order (under part 581 or part 838 of this chapter) affecting the benefits.

(d)(1) An employee and an agency approving official may agree to a time limit to the employee's period of phased employment as a condition of approval of the employee's request to enter phased employment and phased retirement, or by mutual agreement after the employee enters phased employment status.

(2) To enter into such an agreement, the employee and the approving official must complete a written and signed agreement.

(3) The written agreement must include the following:

(i) The date the employee's period of phased employment will terminate;

(ii) A statement that the employee can request the approving official's permission to return to regular employment status at any time or within three days after the expiration of the agreement as provided in §848.301. The agreement must also explain how returning to regular employment status would affect the employee, as described in §§848.301-302.

(iii) A statement that the employee has a right to elect to fully retire at any time as provided in §848.401;

(iv) A statement that the employee may accept a new appointment at another agency, with or without the new agency's approval of phased employment, at any time before the expiration of the agreement or within 3 days of the expiration of the agreement; the agreement must also explain how accepting an appointment at a new agency as a regular employee would affect the employee, as described in §§848.301-302;

(v) An explanation that when the agreed term of phased employment ends, the employee will be separated from employment and that such separation will be considered voluntary, based on the written agreement; and

(vi) An explanation that if the employee is separated from phased employment and is not employed within 3 days (i.e., the employee has a break in service of greater than 3 days), the employee will be deemed to have elected full retirement.

(4) The agency approving official and the employee may rescind an existing agreement, or enter into a new agreement to extend or reduce the term of phased employment agreed to in an existing agreement, by entering into a new written agreement meeting the requirements of this paragraph, before the expiration of the agreement currently in effect.

(e) An agency must establish written criteria that will be used to approve or deny applications for phased retirement before approving or denying applications for phased retirement.

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§848.204   Effective date of phased employment and phased retirement annuity commencing date.

(a) Phased employment is effective the first day of the first pay period beginning after phased employment is approved by an authorized agency official under §848.203(a), or the first day of a later pay period specified by the employee with the authorized agency official's concurrence.

(b) The commencing date of a phased retirement annuity (i.e., the beginning date of the phased retirement period) is the first day of the first pay period beginning after phased employment is approved by an authorized agency official under §848.203(a), or the first day of a later pay period specified by the employee with the authorized agency official's concurrence.

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§848.205   Effect of phased retirement.

(a)(1) A phased retiree is deemed to be a full-time employee for the purpose of 5 U.S.C. chapter 89 and 5 CFR part 890 (related to health benefits), as required by 5 U.S.C. 8412a(i). The normal rules governing health benefits premiums for part-time employees in 5 U.S.C. 8906(b)(3) do not apply.

(2) A phased retiree is deemed to be receiving basic pay at the rate applicable to a full-time employee holding the same position for the purpose of determining a phased retiree's annual rate of basic pay used in calculating premiums (employee withholdings and agency contributions) and benefits under 5 U.S.C. chapter 87 and 5 CFR part 870 (dealing with life insurance), as required by 5 U.S.C. 8412a(o). The deemed full-time schedule will consist of five 8-hour workdays each workweek, resulting in a 40-hour workweek. Only basic pay for hours within the deemed full-time schedule will be considered, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 8412a(o) and the definition of “full-time” in §848.102. Any premium pay creditable as basic pay for life insurance purposes under 5 CFR 870.204 for overtime work or hours outside the full-time schedule that an employee was receiving before phased retirement, such as standby duty pay under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(1) or customs officer overtime pay under 19 U.S.C. 267(a), may not be considered in determining a phased retiree's deemed annual rate of basic pay under this paragraph.

(b) A phased retiree may not be appointed to more than one position at the same time.

(c) A phased retiree may move to another position in the agency or another agency during phased retirement status only if the change would not result in a change in the working percentage. To move to another agency during phased retirement status and continue phased employment and phased retirement status, the phased retiree must submit a written and signed request and obtain the signed written approval, in accordance with §848.203(a)(1) and (2), of the authorized agency official to which the phased retiree is moving. Notwithstanding the provisions of §848.204, if the authorized agency official approves the request, the phased retiree's phased employment and phased retirement status will continue without interruption at the agency to which the phased retiree moves. If the authorized agency official at the agency to which the phased retiree moves does not approve the request, phased employment and phased retirement status terminates in accordance with §848.302(b).

(d) A phased retiree may be detailed to another position or agency if the working percentage of the position to which detailed is the same as the working percentage of the phased retiree's position of record.

(e) A retirement-eligible employee who makes an election under this subpart may not elect an alternative annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8420a.

(f) If the employee's election of phased retirement status becomes effective, the employee is barred from electing phased retirement status again. Ending phased retirement status or entering full retirement status does not create a new opportunity for the individual to elect phased retirement status.

(g) With the exception of §841.803(f), a phased retiree is deemed to be an annuitant for the purpose of subpart H of 5 CFR part 841.

(h) A phased retiree is deemed to be an annuitant for the purpose of subpart J of 5 CFR part 841.

(i) Except as otherwise expressly provided by law or regulation, a phased retiree is treated as any other employee on a part-time tour of duty for all other purposes.

(j)(1) A phased retiree may not be assigned hours of work in excess of the officially established part-time schedule (reflecting the working percentage), except under the conditions specified in paragraph (j)(2) of this section.

(2) An authorized agency official may order or approve a phased retiree to perform hours of work in excess of the officially established part-time schedule only in rare and exceptional circumstances meeting all of the following conditions:

(i) The work is necessary to respond to an emergency posing a significant, immediate, and direct threat to life or property;

(ii) The authorized agency official determines that no other qualified employee is available to perform the required work;

(iii) The phased retiree is relieved from performing excess work as soon as reasonably possible (e.g., by management assignment of work to other employees); and

(iv) When an emergency situation can be anticipated in advance, agency management made advance plans to minimize any necessary excess work by the phased retiree.

(3) Employing agencies must inform each phased retiree and his or her supervisor of—

(i) The limitations on hours worked in excess of the officially established part-time schedule;

(ii) The requirement to maintain records documenting that the exceptions met all required conditions;

(iii) The fact that, by law and regulation, any basic pay received for hours outside the employee's officially established part-time work schedule (as described in §848.202(a)(1) and (b)) is subject to retirement deductions and agency contributions, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8412a(d), but is not used in computing retirement benefits; and

(iv) The fact that, by law and regulation, any premium pay received for overtime work or hours outside the full-time schedule that would otherwise be basic pay for retirement, such as customs officer overtime pay under 19 U.S.C. 267(a), will not be subject to retirement deductions or agency contributions, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8412a(d), and that any such premium pay received will not be included in computing retirement benefits.

(4) Employing agencies must maintain records documenting that exceptions granted under paragraph (j)(2) of this section meet the required conditions. These records must be retained for at least 6 years and be readily available to auditors. OPM may require periodic agency reports on the granting of exceptions and of any audit findings.

(5) If OPM finds that an agency (or subcomponent) is granting exceptions that are not in accordance with the requirements of this paragraph (j), OPM may administratively withdraw the agency's (or subcomponent's) authority to grant exceptions and require OPM approval of any exception.

(6) If OPM finds that a phased retiree has been working a significant amount of excess hours beyond the officially established part-time schedule to the degree that the intent of the phased retirement law is being undermined, OPM may require that the agency end the individual's phased retirement by unilateral action, notwithstanding the normally established methods of ending phased retirement. This finding does not need to be based on a determination that the granted exceptions failed to meet the required conditions in paragraph (j)(2) of this section. With the ending of an individual's phased retirement, that individual must be returned to regular employment status on the same basis as a person making an election under §848.301—unless that individual elects to fully retire as provided under §848.401.

(7) A phased retiree must be compensated for excess hours of work in accordance with the normally applicable pay rules.

(8) Any premium pay received for overtime work or hours outside the full-time schedule that would otherwise be basic pay for retirement, such as customs officer overtime pay under 19 U.S.C. 267(a), is not subject to retirement deductions or agency contributions, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8412a(d).

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