Q. If a federal employee takes a buyout, but then wants to return to federal service, is he eligible for reinstatement rights, or does he have to compete as though he did not have prior federal service?
A. You would be treated the same as any other employee who has left government and wants to return. However, as a rule, if you returned to government service before five years, you would have to repay the VSIP before your first day of employment.