Federal employment reinstatement


Q. I am eligible for federal employment reinstatement with military preference. I was a GS-12 Step 3 with six years of seniority. I left federal employment in 1986. If I am reinstated as a GS-12, will I re-enter at Step 3 or Step 1? Will I retain my six years of seniority plus four years for my military service?

A. The fact that you are reinstatement eligible doesn’t mean that you have automatic entitlement to a particular grade or step. You’ll have to find a position for which you are qualified and apply for it. Depending on your qualifications, you could be offered one at your previous grade or one above or below it. Part of the step determination may depend on what you are making now.

If you come back to work for the government, you will get credit for you prior years of civilian service. And it will also be used in your annuity calculation, unless you took a refund of your retirement contributions when you left. If so, you’ll have the option of redepositing that amount plus accrued interest or having your annuity reduced acturially based on how much you owe and your age at retirement. Depending on when your active-duty service was performed, you may have to make a deposit to get credit for it.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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