Retirement eligibility basics


Q: I worked for the federal government for about 18 years. I resigned in 1985 and withdrew my retirement contributions. Is there any way that I might be eligible to receive retirement benefit for these years of service? I am now 65 years old.

A: The only way you would be eligible for a retirement benefit would be if you returned to work for the federal government. While you would then get credit for that time in determining your length of service, you would receive no benefit unless you either redeposited the refund, plus accrued interest, or worked long enough to build up a basis for an annuity.


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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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