Severance pay


Q. If you are involuntarily laid off, don’t you get severance pay, equivalent to about 1 year’s salary?

A. No, you don’t. According to OPM: “To be eligible for severance pay, an employee must be serving under a qualifying appointment, have a regularly scheduled tour of duty, have completed at least 12 months of continuous service, and be removed from Federal service by involuntary separation for reasons other than inefficiency (i.e., unacceptable performance or conduct).” Emphasis added.


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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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