Refund of retirement contributions


Q. I started working for the government in 2008 and resigned for personal reasons this year. I was told by one representative at the Office of Personnel Management that because I vested more than three years, I am eligible for a refund of retirement I paid into FERS, as well as monies the government paid. I was then told by another rep that that is not true, that I can only get the money I invested into retirement. Can you please tell me which on is true?

A. You can only get a refund of your retirement contributions. No one ever receives a refund of the government’s contributions.


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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


  1. My Husband quit working for the Government after 30 yrs of service, he pulled his money out of retirement because he quit 6 months before his retirement age due to health and personal reasons. Is he eligible for any other benefits from the government for putting in the 30 plus years.

    • While he has eliminated his right to a retirement annuity, as a former FERS employee he will still be entitled to a Social Security benefit when he reaches age 65.

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