Re-employment after early retirement


Q. I accepted an early retirement and incentive in 2013 from civil service (CSRS). I want to go back to work for DOD but was told I needed to repay the incentive before my first day of employment. Is this true?

A. Yes, it’s true. According to OPM, “an employee who receives a VSIP and later accepts reemployment for compensation with the Government of the United States within 5 years of the date of the separation on which the VSIP is based, including work under a personal services contract or other direct contract, must repay the entire amount of the VSIP to the agency that paid it before the individual’s first day of employment.” Under limited circumstances, the repayment may be waived at the agency’s request because the individual possesses unique abilities and is the only qualified applicant available for the position or if there is an emergency involving a direct threat to life or property and the appointment is temporary in nature.


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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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