Annuity contributions


Q. I left government service in 1981 and withdrew my retirement funds. I then re-entered government in 1991 under CSRS and retired in 2009. I am paying back the withdrawn funds every month out of my annuity. How long will they take out these funds from my retirement? It will be 10 years in January 2019. I have been told by others that it will be 10 years, then the money will be put toward my retirement annuity.

A. You have been misinformed. Because you did not redeposit the money you withdrew, plus interest, your annuity was actuarially reduced. That reduction is permanent.


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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


  1. Not sure how or why OPM is accepting payments for this. Everything you have paid in since you retired should be returned to you. As Reg said, you were subject to the actuarial reduction, which is permanent. I suspect you will have difficulty getting the money back that you have been paying in, but you should pursue it.

    • What he referred to as deductions were actually a permanent reduction in his annuity because he didn’t redeposit the retirement contributions he took out when he left. He isn’t entitled to a refund.

  2. He could not have re-entered government in 1991 under Civil service, only Civil Service Offset if he had five or more years of service when he left government service in 1981.

    • True but irrelevant. He was concerned about a reduction in his annuity caused by his not redepositing the retirement contributions he took out when he left government.

  3. Back in 1981, my wife and I decided that due to the birth of our second child to close out her annuity with the federal government ($2,400.00) . At that time we were not planning on her returning to work. After three years at home, she went back to work under a different job description/ retirement program for the federal government. That was 32 years ago. We divorced during that 32 years time frame and have both happily remarried.
    She retired in 2017 and has received a letter advised that she needs to repay the $2,400.00 Plus interest to the tune of around $30,000.00. She is asking for help paying the bill.
    Is this possible / real? She said during the entire time she was employed she never once received an e-mail, phone call, statement telling her that because she went back to work, she had to repay the $2,400.00 plus interest.

    • Because she took a refund of her retirement deductions before March 1, 1991, she can either repay the amount she owes or not pay it and have her annuity reduced. If she did the latter, the reduction would be based on the amount she owes, her age at the time she retired, and her projected lifetime, based on actuarial tables. OPM would have to offer that alternative and show her what the affect would be on her annuity. In all likelihood, accepting the reduction would be the better way to go.

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