Block 19


Q. The definitions on the web for block 19 “cumulative retirement” only defines it, which to me has absolutely no meaning since it does not also state what happens to that amount once you do retire. Is that an initial retirement “seed money” or what? What happens to it?

A. That’s a record of your contributions to the retirement fund. It only becomes important if you 1) resign from the government and ask for a refund of your contributions or 2) retire. In the latter case, it will be included in a formula used to determine how much of your annuity will be tax free. See IRS Publication 721 for an explanation of how that is done.


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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 Comment

  1. I resigned In February 2006 after working as FERS since Mar of 1988. I was rehired as of Aug 2006 and continue until present. After looking at block 19 on my LES it is the same amount as the other hired at the same time. What happened to the previous account balance? When I left the first time I was paid a lump sum for my annual leave but nothing else.

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