Q. I keep hearing that it takes five years to get vested in the federal government. However, no one seems to know what happens after five years of employment, and I keep hearing different stories. Do you happen to know what happens at the five-year mark?
A. I can’t imagine what stories you’ve been hearing. When an employee has worked for the federal government for five years full-time (or its part-time equivalent), he has secured an entitlement to an annuity when he meets the age and service requirements to retire. If he leaves before having five years of service, he’s only entitled to a refund of his retirement contributions.