Seasonal work and VSIP


Q. I am fully eligible and plan to retire within the next 12 to 24 months. I have heard Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments are under consideration for my agency. I am also a Type 2 Wildland Fire team member and will continue to work fires after I retire. Will the money I earn as “active duty” retired federal employee during the summers have an impact on the VSIP buyout requiring repayment?

A. Yes. According to the Office of Personnel Management, “An employee who receives a VSIP and later accepts employment for compensation with the Government of the United States within 5 years of the date of the separation on which the VSIP is based, including work under a personal services contract or other direct contract, must repay the entire amount of the VSIP to the agency that paid it — before the individual’s first day of reemployment.”


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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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