WAE Employment

Q. How does a Foreign Service annuitant become reemployed by the Department of State in a part-time, temporary, or intermittent (WAE) position?  

A. Each regional and functional bureau in the department has its own separate WAE program, which is managed according to the bureau's particular personnel needs. To apply for reemployment, an applicant must submit a resume or a standard employment application form to a specific bureau. (Using a resume gives an annuitant greater flexibility in showing how his or her skills would be of use to a particular bureau.) Upon deciding that an applicant meets its needs, the bureau will then add the annuitant to its reemployment rolls. Once the annuitant's security clearance is reactivated, he or she can begin work when a suitable position becomes available.  

Q. How would you advise an annuitant to go about seeking a WAE appointment?  

A. Most annuitants are reemployed because they have vital skills and knowledge that are needed by a bureau, they are well known to bureau personnel, and/or their timing is good. I would advise an annuitant to make preliminary contacts about reemployment with the bureau in which he or she is interested before retirement and to renew these contacts periodically after applying for an appointment and while on a reemployment roll. An annuitant can also assure immediate availability by applying for reemployment shortly before or after retirement and thereby keeping his or her security clearance current.  

Q. Can a WAE employee work for different bureaus?  

A. Yes, although an annuitant may get an appointment only with one dedicated bureau, he or she can work for others. While some transfer accommodations may have to be made in order to move from one bureau to another, the annuitant's security clearance will remain in effect.  

Q. Do WAE employees have job security?  

A. No, as part-time, temporary, or intermittent employees, they serve at the pleasure of the bureau and do not receive evaluation reports.  

Q. Is there a cap on earnings for WAE employees?  

A. Yes, the sum of an annuitant's salary and annuity during a calendar year cannot exceed the annuitant's salary at the time of retirement (without adjustment for inflation) or the full-time salary of the position in which he or she was reemployed, whichever is higher. In practical effect, this means that an annuitant can work only for three to six months and receive a full annuity as well as full compensation for work performed. Because of Civil Service requirements, annuitant also cannot work for more then Contractors, in contrast, are not affected by this cap.

Q. Is there a cap on the number of hours WAE employees can work?

A. Yes, WAE employees can work no more than 1040 hours in an appointment year If a WAE employee exceeds the 1040-hour limitation, this triggers a two-year limit on the position and the position may be abolished and all WAE employees assigned to the position will be removed from the WAE rolls. . 

Q. Can these caps be waived?

A. The department has authority (until October 1, 2009) to waive the salary cap for Foreign Service annuitants on a case-by-case basis for positions at consular posts with substantial visa application backlogs or in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, the department may seek waiver of the hours cap for an individual from the Office of Personnel Management.