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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 208-04
March 22, 2004

DoD Announces Program for Selective Employment of Retirees

The Defense Department today announced implementation of a new policy which will allow defense managers to hire civil service retirees needed in critical positions without offsetting their retirement pay, which was required under previous law. A similar provision was previously implemented for military retirees. Until enactment of this stand-alone provision, authorized by the fiscal year 2004 National Defense Authorization Act, civil service retirees of the Department of Defense had their pay reduced by the amount of their pension. This benefit applies only to those hired on or after Nov. 24, 2003.

In approving the policy, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, David Chu, said, This tool will help us address the challenges of a retirement-driven talent drain as our current generation of dedicated civil servants becomes eligible to retire.

The policy has a number of restrictions and requirements. A retiree can only be hired into hard-to-fill positions where the retiree has unique or specialized skills or qualifications. A retiree cannot be reemployed in his or her previous job position unless someone above the hiring official approves it and certifies the critical conditions. In addition, a retiree may be hired for up to one year as a mentor to less experienced employees or to provide continuity during critical organizational transitions. Before any retiree can be hired, the position must be offered to qualified defense workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

For executive level positions, only the secretaries of the military departments or heads of defense agencies and field activities may appoint annuitants to such positions.