Rep. Davis introduces bill to promote rehiring of retirees

Concerned about an impending wave of federal employee retirements, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) introduced legislation Sept. 19 that would let agencies temporarily rehire federal retirees to help mitigate workforce shortages in the government.

Under the Re-Employment of Annuitants Act of 2007, retired employees could return to the workplace on a short-term basis to fill skills gaps and train the next generation of federal workers without losing their annuity benefits. The Office of Personnel Management requested the legislation, according to Davis' office.

“We need to tap into the expertise and experience of [retirees] — particularly with positions that are difficult to fill,” said Davis, ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “They’ve proven their ability, their dedication and desire to help keep government running smoothly.”

Under current law, retired federal workers must suspend their annuities or receive a reduced salary if they return to work as part-timers. OPM makes an exception to the rule for positions it considers difficult to fill. Under Davis’ bill, retirees who return to work would receive salary and annuity payments during their time on the job. However, they would not receive additional retirement benefits based on their service.

Federal retirees who want to return to work “should be encouraged not penalized,” Davis said.

Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) co-sponsored the legislation.

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