Q. I am a 66-year-old FERS employee with 31 years of service and may be offered Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay in the next few weeks.

1. If I resign to get VSIP instead of retire, will I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

2. What is the timeline for date of departure once a decision is made? Next pay period? 30 days? Negotiable?

A. 1. You’d have to check with your state employment office. However, as a rule, if you resign from your job, you wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment benefits.

2. Only your agency can tell you when you’d have to leave.


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. I retired from federal gov. CERS. After 43 years 01/03/14. I went back to work as a contractor 10/18/14. I found out I will be laided off April 2016. Will I be able to collect unemployment in ca. Along with my gov. Pension? I will be 65.

    • As a rule retirees aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. To be sure that’s true in California, you’ll have to check with your state’s employment office.

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