Career change


Q. I worked for the post office for 12 years (1988-2000). I resigned and now work in law enforcement. When I retire from my job at age 55, will I receive a retirement check from the post office as well for the years I worked there?

A. If you didn’t ask for a refund of your retirement contributions when you left, you’d be entitled to a deferred FERS annuity at age 62.


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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


  1. I worked for the US Postal Service from 1990 to 2000 and also bought back my military time of 4 years. I am now working for a county government and they suggested to check with the Postal Service or OPM to see if I will draw a pension before trying to buy the time and add it to my county job. Am I eligible for a pension? I read a previous post where you stated that you could not withdraw your contributions. I did not take my TSP contributions out when I left.

    • I don’t know what you read. You could have withdrawn your retirement contributions when you left the federal government. If you did, you canceled all entitlement to a future federal annuity. If you didn’t, you could apply for a deferred annuity at age 62. You could or can do whatever you want with your TSP contributions. Your decision would have no affect on your annuity.

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