Retirement timing


Q. I am 58 with 30 years in FERS. My overseas assignment is up, and I do not have return rights. I  am about to register in the Priority Placement Program. When I receive a placement offer, can I refuse the job, quit the government, collect my severance pay and unemployment, and retire when my unemployment runs out, or do I have to retire immediately upon turning down the job placement?

A. Because you are eligible to retire, you aren’t entitled to severance pay.


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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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