Q. I am a former employee at Mare Island Shipyard, Calif. Due to a reduction in force, I lost my job in 1996. I pulled out all of my retirement money to become a registered nurse and I work at a private company now. Is all the time I worked with the shipyard no longer considered for retirement because I withdrew my retirement money? If I returned to a federal job, could I buy back the time for a later retirement?
A. You would only be eligible for a benefit if you returned to work for the federal government in a position that provided retirement coverage and redeposited the amount of the refund plus accumulated interest.