More federal employees are applying for the phased-retirement program this year. Here's what it does. (Photo: Getty)

Although the program was approved some five years ago by Congress, it’s only fairly recently that federal employees are opting into a phased retirement program that allows them to work part time while continuing to accrue half credit toward their retirement annuity and being paid half their salary.

According to Federal News Radio, there hadn’t been much interest in the program, with just 90 employees applying for the program a year ago—compared with the 1,000 federal employees estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to enter the program per year back in 2012, when CBO reviewed the program.

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