FERS early retirement and eligibility for contract work


Q. If I take an early-out at age 55 with no penalty plus $25,000 incentive bonus, is there any penalty if I accept a SETA or CSS contract position with the same agency?

A. According to the Office of Personnel Management, “An employee who receives a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and later accepts employment for compensation with the government of the United States within five years of the date of the separation on which the VSIP is based, including work under a personal services or other direct contract, must repay the entire amount of the VSIP to the agency that paid it before the individual’s first day of reemployment.” You’ll have to check with your agency to see if this restriction would apply to the contract positions you cited.


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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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