Lump-sum withdrawal


Q. I’m looking to retire by the end of 2014 with almost 34 years of service under CSRS. I see in one of your answered questions about CSRS retirement lump-sum payment from the 2012 article in Federal Times. It sounds like that person wanted to get a lump-sum payment of their retirement contributions and still receive a monthly annuity. The answer to the questions was no, you can’t receive a refund of your retirement contributions. Does this mean that if a person retires from federal service and wants to get a lump-sum payment of their retirement without also getting an annuity payment that they are unable to do that? For example, if I had $200,000 in my retirement, then I can’t get that $200,000 in one lump-sum payment?

A. I meant what I said. The option for a retiring worker to receive a refund of his retirement contributions and a reduced annuity ended as of Oct. 1, 1994. The only exception is for those who have a medical condition resulting in a life expectancy of less than two years and who aren’t taking disability retirement.


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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

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