Can pension be used to cover restitution?


Q: I have a situation with a Civil Service Retirement System retired employee who was charged and convicted of workers’ compensation fraud. Part of his plea agreement states that he must pay back over $100,000 in restitution. His defense attorney proposed in court that the government should attempt to get the entire amount paid to the courts utilizing the money that was paid into his pension, which is being paid out by the Office of Personnel Management. Is this possible? Can a retired employee petition or apply for large sums of money to be extracted from his retirement? We found an “Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions” form on OPM’s website; is this the vehicle to do such a thing?

A: I suggest that you read 5 CFR Part 831, Subpart R, Agency Requests to OPM for Recovery of a Debt from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, and then discuss how to proceed with the attorneys in your general counsel’s office.


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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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