Resignation questions


Q: I am leaving federal service and have some unanswered questions that my servicing personnel office is unable to answer. I have more than 20 years in service and I am 49. I requested a one-year LWOP sabbatical but it was denied, as I was informed that it is typically only granted when you are taking time off to do your doctorate, which I am not. I want to know if a) I return to federal service, will my sick leave balance start over at 0 (it is currently nearly 700 hours) b) will the same retirement rules apply if I get another federal job within any amount of time (i.e. I am eligible to retire at 56 … do I have a limited time, say five years, to come back and still retain the same type of retirement? and c) Is there any other option to resignation if I am moving to another state?
Our office is closing in three years and they are sending VERA/VSIP applications to all employees in January. However, we have been unofficially informed by our personnel office that we would not be offered VERA/VSIP because only those positions that have too many of the same series (I am only one in my office of this series) would be affected.

A: Before resigning, you should go online at www.usajobs to see if there are other positions for which you are qualified in the state where you’ll be living. If nothing turns up and you do resign and later return to work for the government, you could pick up where you left off and retire when you met the age and service requirements. Any sick leave you had to your credit when you left would be restored. Note: If you got a refund of your retirement contributions when you resigned, you’d have to redeposit that money, plus accrued interest, to get credit for your prior service.


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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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