Q. I resigned from the United States Postal Service in 1999 after 12 years of service and received a refund of my retirement contributions. If I get hired on to the USPS again, will I be able to buy back my time like the military candidates? I haven’t been able to find any information regarding this situation, only what pertains to the military.

A. Yes, you will be able to redeposit the money that was refunded to you, plus interest, and get credit for that time. You’ll find the authority for doing that at Just scroll to Section 21A3.1-1. Although this information is in the CSRS part of the handbook, it applies equally to those covered by FERS.


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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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