Defining involuntary separation


Q. I am a FERS employee, age 52 with 23 years of service. Due to my spouse’s retirement, we are selling our home and relocating to another state. Although I received an outstanding performance evaluation for the past two years, my request to work from home was denied, based on agency policy. As a result, I am planning to separate and defer my annuity until age 60. I am wondering whether this situation could possibly be considered an involuntary separation. Of course, having it classified that way would allow me to continue FEHB enrollment so this would be beneficial. Can you offer any advice?

A. I don’t see how your leaving could be considered involuntary. Your agency isn’t separating you involuntarily; you are voluntarily separating from them.


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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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