Q. I understand that employees already eligible for retirement will get no payout on a reduction in force. Many of us have a mix of (bought back) military and FERS, with only the combination rendering us eligible to retire. Can we take the RIF based on our FERS years, and then combine our FERS and military years into one retirement? I could not find that you’d already addressed this question.

A. You couldn’t find an answer that addressed your question because your question is based on a misunderstanding about how things work. Since you have made a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service, it is now included in your total years of creditable service and can’t be separated from it. Therefore, if you receive a RIF notice and have the age and service combination needed to retire, you can do that. Those requirements are age 50 with 20 years of service or at any age with 25.

As for your assumption that employees who are already eligible to retire aren’t eligible for a buyout, you are mistaken. Anyone who is offered one may accept it.


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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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