Phased Retirement is a tool designed to assist Federal agencies with succession planning, maintaining essential skills and competencies, and facilitating mentoring and knowledge transfer.  It does this by providing an opportunity for retirement eligible employees to work half time (40 hours per pay period) and earn partial retirement benefits, for a limited period of time, before transitioning to full retirement. Phased Retirement at NASA will be limited to an initial period of 2 years, an extension may be granted at management's discretion, up to a total period of no more than 3 years.

An employee's application for Phased Retirement must fully describe the work the employee proposes to accomplish during the Phased Retirement period, and include a substantive plan for transferring knowledge to others.  At least 20% of the Phased Retiree's work hours must consist of mentoring.  The application must be approved by a designated management official, based on NASA-established criteria.

Each employee entering Phased Retirement status will sign an agreement that describes the terms and conditions of this status.  Among the terms are an end date for the Phased Retirement period, with a commitment by the employee to fully retire on or before this date.

This website provides information and resources for employees, supervisors, and Human Resources Specialists regarding Phased Retirement.  Center Human Resources Offices will administer the Phased Retirement Program; contact your designated point of contact for Center-specific information and procedures.



Phased retirement is an important decision with many work-related and personal implications.  Please review NASA's Phased Retirement Employee Guide, which walks you through the following questions:

  • Am I eligible for Phased Retirement?
  • When will I be ready for full retirement?
  • What are the effects of Phased Retirement on my pay and benefits?
  • How can I contribute to NASA as a Phased Employee/Retiree?
  • How do I get annuity estimates and retirement counseling?             
  • How do I prepare and submit my application for Phased Retirement?
  • How do I enter Phased Retirement?  
  • How will my period of Phased Retirement end?

The Guide also provides sample income comparisons for both Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees at different salary levels – showing income while in Phased Retirement and upon full retirement after two years phased, compared to retirement income now and after two more years of full time employment.

Further information is available on the OPM Phased Retirement website.  A great starting resource from OPM is this video:  Phased Retirement, An Employee Perspective.



If an employee asks you about the possibility of participating in Phased Retirement, or submits an application, what do you need to know?  If your employee has been approved as a phased retiree, what are your responsibilities?  NASA's Phased Retirement Supervisor Guide addresses these topics.

Many other resources on this website can provide you with additional information to help you understand phased retirement and work with interested employees.  In particular please look at:


Human Resources Offices at each Center will administer the Phased Retirement Program.  In addition to the other resources shown on this page, the following are of particular importance to you:

NASA Phased Retirement Guide for Center Human Resources Offices
Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Chapter 27




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