Returning to federal service


Q: I am 52 and a FERS employee with 31 years of credible federal service. I would like to quit and do something outside of the government. I already have my high threes, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Then sometime after turning minimum retirement age at 56 and 30 years, I plan to return to federal service to resume earning credible service time. How many more years must I work to receive full retirement benefits before I am eligible again to retire from government service?

A: Because you are covered by FERS, there is no requirement that you be re-employed for a certain amount of time before you retire. All you need is the right combination of age and service. However, it would be unfair to your new employer to accept a job under false pretenses and immediately retire.


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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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