Q. The agency has offered me a voluntary early retirement. The agency has agreed that if OPM does not accept my application, I will be returned to work. If my retirement application is denied by OPM and I am returned to work, who is responsible for any lost wages I incur while my application is being processed?

If the agency is responsible, do you have any regulations to support your answer?

A. You agency has introduced a note of uncertainty where none should exist. If your agency has been granted a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, it offers you an opportunity to retire early, and you meet the age and service requirements, it will attach a copy of the notice they gave you to your retirement application when it is sent to OPM. OPM has preapproved all such applications. Although it’s highly unlikely, if you and your agency miscalculated your eligibility for early retirement — for example, you weren’t old enough or you had too little service — you would be returned to your position and treated for pay and benefits as if you had never left.


About Author

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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