VSIP and reinstatement


Q. If a federal employee takes a buyout, but then wants to return to federal service, is he eligible for reinstatement rights, or does he have to compete as though he did not have prior federal service?

A. You would be treated the same as any other employee who has left government and wants to return. However, as a rule, if you returned to government service before five years, you would have to repay the VSIP before your first day of employment.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Does a federal employee with the VA who leaves and takes another job that is not federal then comes back to the VA b do they begin where they left off with the VA in terms of seniority? Say they had 2 years at the VA. Then they took a private job and then came back to the VA. Would they have a probationary time returning to the VA and begin as anyone else starting from the beginning or do they skip probation and start with 2 years at the VA.

    • If it was officially documented that you had completed your probationary period, you would not have to start over again.

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