Vesting and redepositing


Q: I am considering employment with the Veterans Affairs hospital. I am already 52 years old. How many years do I have to work to be vested and receive a monthly income based on $56,000 per year if I retire at 60? Also, I have one year and nine months of full-time, permanent employment with the VA from 1992-94. I took the money from the retirement. Can I buy this time back, and will it be added to the vested time for this period if I brought back?

A: You would have to be employed for five years to be vested. However, you would not be able to retire on an immediate annuity unless you worked to age 62. You could, of course, simply resign after five years and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62. You could make a deposit to repay the retirement contributions that were refunded to you, including accrued interest, and add that time to your years of service. To figure your annuity, use the following formula: 0.01 x your highest three consecutive years of average salary x your years of service. Using your example of $56,000, your annuity would be $2,800 (0.01 x $56,000 x 5 years).

— Reg Jones


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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