Q. I worked for the federal government as a civil servant from 1984 to 1989, when I resigned as a GS-13 to take a private-sector job. I am now considering a return to government service at the same grade/level as when I left.

1. Will the five years I worked previously be credited toward my retirement (anticipated in 2018) for a total of 10 years of service? I was under FERS for my previous five-year employment.

2. Will my vacation be reinstated at the same rate (hours per pay period) as when I left federal service?  I believe I was accruing vacation at an annual rate of 20 days a year?

3. When I left, I had 50 to 60 days of unused sick leave. Does that get reinstated?

A. 1. Yes. However, if you received a refund of your retirement contributions when you left, you’d have to repay that money plus accrued interest to get credit for that time in your annuity computation.

2. Yes.

3. Yes.


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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