Storage of household goods


Q: I am a Defense Department civilian, and I will retire next February from an overseas base. I will NOT be returning to my home of record, and instead will buy a house in a different state. I am not even sure what city I will buy in until I get there to look around. How long will the government store my household goods after I retire While I go through the house-buying ordeal that could take months?

A: The general rule is that the transportation and storage of household goods for up to 90 days may be made at the government’s expense when an employee’s relocation is in the interest of the government. Because you are a Defense Department employee, I suggest you review the department’s Joint Travel Regulations to pin down the eligibility requirements and relocation entitlements. You’ll find them at


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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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