Paying back buyout money


Q: I recently retired from the Postal Service under the incentive/buyout offer. If I seek another government position, will I be required to pay back the buyout money I received?

A: Yes. If you received a buyout and later accept a paying job with the federal government within 5 years of the date of the separation on which that buyout is based, including work under a personal services contract or other direct contract, you must repay the entire amount of the buyout to the agency that paid it to you before your first day of re-employment.


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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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