Sick leave after rehire


Q. I am 50 years old with 30 years of service. I plan on resigning from my federal government job. In three to five years, I will try to be rehired at age 54 or 55. What will happen to my sick leave balance? Also, as I understand it, I will be able to retire normally at my minimum retirement age (56) if rehired. There appears to be no minimum amount of time I need to be re-employed with the federal government to retire as long as I meet MRA and the 30-year requirement. My health insurance will be good also in retirement as long as I always kept it for the last three years I was employed. Is this correct?

A. If you returned to federal government employment and hadn’t taken a refund of your contributions in the retirement fund when you left, you’d be able to retire on an immediate annuity when you met the age and service requirements. If you were enrolled in the FEHB program when you left, enrolled again when you were re-employed and had five years of coverage, you could continue that coverage into retirement. One closing thought: Although you could retire as soon as you had the right combination of age and service, it would be deceitful to take another government job for the sole purpose of being able to retire. You would owe your new employer enough time on the job to repay him or her not only for the effort expended to hire you but to accomplish the work he or she hired you to do.


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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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