Employment after military job ends


Q. I am an Air Reserve technician. I turn 60 in March 2014 and by law will have to retire from the military side of my federal job. At that time I will have 11 years as a federal employee, and with making the deposit on my active-duty military service, I will have just shy of 17 years in the federal system. I was at a retirement seminar for FERS and was told the government would have to find me a job to keep me employed until I reach 20 years of federal service.

1. Is that true?

2. Do I have any say in where I might get the job?

3. I understand if I do not accept the job found for me, the government obligation is done and I have to retire at 60 with a 15 percent reduction in my annuity. Is this true?

A. The presenter at that seminar probably said this: If you were hit by a reduction-in-force, your agency would follow RIF procedures, under which you might be able to bump another employee or retreat to a position you had previously held. If that didn’t work and you were facing separation, they would try to find a position for which you were qualified in your commuting area. If they did, and you refused to accept it, you’d be separated. If you were offered a job outside your commuting area, you’d be free to accept or reject the offer. In either case, based on your years and service, you’d be able to retire under the MRA+10 provision. There would be a 5 percent per year reduction in your annuity for every year you were under age 62 (5/12 of 1 percent per month). Note: Under no circumstance would your agency be obligated to find you a job that would allow you to complete 20 years of service. The most it could do is try to find a job for you now.


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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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