FERS: §844.402 Restoration of Earning Capacity
§844.402 Restoration of Earning Capacity
Title 5 – Part 844: Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS)
Disability Retirement: Subpart D – Termination and Reinstatement of Disability Annuity
(a) Earning capacity determinations. If a disability annuitant is under age 60 on December 31 of any calendar year and his or her income from wages or self-employment or both during that calendar year equals at least 80 percent of the current rate of basic pay of the position occupied immediately before retirement, the annuitant’s earning capacity is considered to be restored. The disability annuity will terminate on the June 30 after the end of the calendar year in which earning capacity is restored.
(b) Current rate of basic pay for the position occupied immediately before retirement. (1) A disability annuitant’s income for a calendar year is compared to the gross annual rate of basic pay in effect on December 31 of that year for the position occupied immediately before retirement. The income limitation for most disability annuitants is based on the rate for the grade and step that reflects the total amount of basic pay (both the grade and step and any additional basic pay) in effect on the date of separation from the agency for disability retirement. Additional basic pay is included subject to the premium pay restrictions of 5 U.S.C. 5545 (c)(1) and (c)(2).
(2) In the case of an annuitant whose basic pay rate on the date determined under paragraph (b)(1) of this section did not match a specific grade and step in the pay schedule:
(i) For those retiring from a Senior Executive Service position, a merit pay position, a position for which a special pay rate is authorized (except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section), or any other position in which the rate of basic pay is not equal to a grade and step in a pay schedule, the grade and step will be established for this purpose at the lowest step in the pay schedule grade that is equal to or greater than the actual rate of basic pay payable.
(ii) For those retiring with a retained rate of basic pay or from a position for which a special pay rate is in effect but whose rate of basic pay exceeds the highest rate payable in the pay schedule grade applicable to the position held, the grade is established for this purpose at the highest grade in the schedule that is closest to the grade of the position held and within which the amount of the retained pay falls. The step is established for this purpose at the lowest step in that grade that equals or exceeds the actual rate of pay payable.
(3) For annuitants retiring from the United States Postal Service, only cost-of-living allowances subject to FERS deductions are included in determining the current rate of basic pay of the position held at retirement.
(c) Income. (1) Earning capacity for the purposes of this section is demonstrated by an annuitant’s ability to earn post-retirement income in exchange for personal services or a work product, or as a profit from one or more businesses wholly or partly owned by the disability annuitant and in the management of which the annuitant has an active role. Income for the purposes of this section is not necessarily the same as income for the purposes of the Internal Revenue Code.
(2) Income earned from one source is not offset by losses from another source. Income earned as wages is not reduced by a net loss from self-employment. The net income from each self-employment endeavor is calculated separately, and the income earned as net earnings from one self-employment endeavor is not reduced by a net loss from another self-employment endeavor. Thus, a net loss from one endeavor is considered to be a net income of zero, and the net incomes from each separate self-employment endeavor are added together to determine the total amount of income from self-employment for a calendar year.
(3) Income is counted in the calendar year in which it is earned, even though receipt may be deferred.
(d) Requirement to report income. All disability annuitants who, on December 31 of any calendar year, are under age 60 must report to OPM their income from wages or self-employment or both for that calendar year. Each year as early as possible, OPM will send a form to annuitants to use in reporting their income from the previous calendar year. The form specifies the date by which OPM must receive the report. OPM will determine entitlement to continued annuity on the basis of the report. If an annuitant fails to submit the report, OPM may stop annuity payments until it receives the report.