Use VSIP for time buyback?


Q. I am a CSRS Offset employee with 30 years of service at age 55. If a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay is offered and I’m accepted, can I use that money to buy back time — first year of federal service and two years of term employment in middle of my career (FICA-covered only) — to use toward my pension? I understand the years only paid to FICA apply to my total number of years but not toward my pension benefit.

A. No, you can’t. You won’t receive your VSIP until it’s too late to make that deposit. It would have to be made before you separate for retirement.


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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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