Redepositing retirement refunds


Q: I read your Nov. 16 column about how Federal Employees Retirement System employees can redeposit retirement refunds. I’m a military retiree, but I spent approximately 5.5 years post-military time at the Small Business Administration and Department of Homeland Security. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of taking a very small refund for my retirement time at SBA, totaling about 18 months. That put me under the 5 years of federal service that I would need to qualify for a pension, albeit a small one. As I read your column, I gathered that I can repay the amount I received at SBA to establish my 5.5 years of service. Is it as simple as you suggest: I simply get the Office of Personnel Management form when it’s available and then redeposit the refund amount I received from SBA?

A: If you are a current employee of the federal government, you can make a redeposit for that refunded service. If you aren’t, you can’t. Based on what you wrote, I have the impression that you fit into the latter category.


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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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