Discontinued Service Retirement


Q. The positions of personnel performing similar functions throughout the geographic territory covered by our office are being consolidated into one of the locations.  This is being done partially by attrition, but at some point Management Directed Reassignment (MDR) letters (with PCS offered) establishing the final mandatory move date will be issued to the “outliers,” all of whom are currently duty-stationed at locations approximately 100 miles from the consolidated destination location. Many of the personnel may not accept the MDR due to deep family & community ties, working spouses, difficulty selling homes, and/or disabilities requiring family and/or social services support not available at the destination location.

Would personnel who do not accept the MDR be considered to have been involuntarily separated, and thus eligible for a Disconnected Service Retirement if they otherwise meet the age and service requirements? The agency is making a reasonable offer of another position –- actually, the same position, albeit in a different location, but with PCS offered.  This suggests a DSR would not apply if the MDR is refused. On the other hand, the fact that the directed move is to a location outside of the commuting area suggests a DSR could apply.  However, since the function is already being performed at the destination location, the “transfer of function” proviso might not be applicable.

A. There are number of factors that go into determining whether an employee is eligible for discontinued service retirement, and they are all described in the discontinued service retirement chapter of OPM’s CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices, located at http://opm.gove/retire/pubs/handbook/C044.pdf.


About Author

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

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