Buyouts and length of service


Q. I am a current CSRS employee and work for the Department of Energy. The department has recently proposed to reduce federal full-time employees by 30 percent by the end of fiscal 2012. One of the methods being considered is early outs and buyouts, including up to $25,000. Instead of cash buyouts, has any federal agency considered and/or been approved to provide years of service in lieu of cash? If this were allowed by OPM the near-term costs, 2 percent per year, would be minimal and the agency would not have to come up with the budget to cover the cash buyout.

A. What you are suggesting isn’t permitted under current law. It could only happen if the law were changed, and no administration or Congress has ever considered doing that.


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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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