'Retire, FERS' refund


Q. My wife worked for the federal government from 2011 to 2012 and resigned in August 2012 due to medical reasons. During that two years of service, $222.07 was deducted from her pay for “Retire, FERS” and there were matching funds of $3281.31, so the total is $3503.30 for the “Retire, FERS.” Can my wife request that money be refunded?

A. If she doesn’t plan to return to federal service, she would only be entitled to a refund of her own retirement contributions. Doing so would cancel her entitlement to any future retirement benefit. However, if she got a refund and later returned to federal service, she could redeposit that money, plus accrued interest, to get credit for that period of service.



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. My last working day was 12/11/205. I am age 64 and applied for social security. I am a disabled veteran can no longer work. It has now been 30 days. how long does it take to process my fers refund request?

    • It depends on OPM’s workload. Because you sent in your request during the annual peak period for retirements, it will take longer than if you had applied before the end-of-year retirement rush began.

  2. Thank you Reg Jones for your response to my first communication. I would like to speak to someone however, the telephone numbers tried were unsuccessful. Main number, 8887676738 is constantly busy tone any time of day. Chicago regional office numbers, 3123530233 and 3123536234 have been disconnected. What is your recommendation? I only want to know status. Just curious.

  3. I submitted mine 12/15/2015. Nothing yet. Very frustrating that there’s little info online and no real contact. Black hole!

  4. I resigned today and the usps is sending my return of retirement paperwork in the mail. When OPM gets those forms, how long does it take to get the refund back? I opted for lump sum, direct deposit. Thank you.

    • HRSS told me today , once they get the forms faxed to them they have 7 business days to process them. Then they send out 2 kits to you. 1 for refund of retirement and second for TSP. Once you mail those in, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for them to process paperwork and issue refund.

  5. I was told my refund paperwork arrived Sept 20 2017 and when I called on Oct 24 2017 woman I spoke with told me it was in the refund department and would take 90 days from today I called so I’m totally confused

    • You filed for a refund and have now learned that it will take longer than you hoped. You have every right to be disappointed. but no reason to be confused.

  6. hello. I really need to know what box to check on sf 3106. After block 13…. Do I check ” Pay interest portion” of my refund ? OR do I check next block down that says ” Pay contribution portion “? I’m trying to get all my retirement refund by direct deposit. Thank you very much. Ive tried calling omp and hrss and they are no help. Thank you

  7. Diana gonzalwz on

    I applied for my fers retirement refund on october 5th 2017 by mail how long will it take to receive my refund?

  8. So I worked for the federal government for 10 years and just recently decided to withdraw my FERS retirement after leaving this past April. I’ve been told from friends that my refund my only be $2000 to $3000? Can this be right after working 10 years.

    • To find out how much you’ve contributed to the retirement system, look at the Cumulative Retirement Contributions box on you pay slip.

    • Did you find out how long it takes for OPM to process the SF 3106? I am mailing mine today and trying to get an estimate of how long it’s taking to process, I called the 1-877-767-6738 and was on hold forever and I couldn’t keep holding.

      • There is no way to know for sure. Processing times vary according to workload and staff availability.

  9. For most that are asking about how long it will take. I sent my request for refund in and was received on 06/14, processed on 02/28 and requested for more info from the agency on 07/12. So far everything is taking 2 weeks between each step. I keep getting told everything from 2-4 weeks and 5-7 weeks. Currently I am at 5 weeks and nothing still.

  10. I sent in my request for refund on July 1 buy mail and was told still have not been recieved it is 28 July now. Had 15 years of service

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