Q. I am a highly qualified expert and a 67-year-old veteran, with 2½ years of federal service. I have bought back my 15 years of military time. My plan was to complete my high three in six months and then extend for another two years to complete five years of federal service. Due to budget cuts, my position may be eliminated. What are my options to retire with an annuity from FERS? Is there any OPM assistance or programs for finding another federal service job? Will my FERS time and buyback be available to my spouse if I am not around?
A. If you are separated before your have five years of actual FERS service, you won’t be eligible for an annuity. You would be eligible for a refund of your contributions to the retirement fund and the deposit you made for your active-duty service.
Your agency may be able to point you to other federal positions for which you qualify in your commuting area. You can also go on-line at www.usajobs.gov and search for other employment opportunities in the federal government. In the hope that you’ll find other federal employment, you may want to leave your contributions in the fund for awhile after you separate.