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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. I lost my job with the Boston Naval Shipyard when it closed down in 1974 after 7 yrs of employment.. I remember receiving a check for approx. $7000. which I assumed was my contributions to my retirement account. Now I am being told that I would have been eligible for a deferred annuinty at 62 if I did not receive this money which is upsetting because I don’t recall anyone explaining this to me. I am now 68 yrs old.

    • When you left you would have automatically received a lump-sum payment for your unused annual leave and had the option of getting a refund of your retirement contributions or leaving them in the fund and applying for a deferred annuity at age 62. During the time when you left government, nearly all separating employees took the refund. The only way you could get credit for that time would be to return to work for the government and make a deposit of the amount you took out, plus accrued interest. That wouldn’t be worth doing because you’d end up paying more than you could hope to receive in an annuity.

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