Q. I was given a directed reassignment from Washington, D.C., to St. Louis, to be effective this July. At that time, I will have the age and 29 years and eight months of service (CSRS), four months shy of 30 years of service in a quasi-government agency. If I refuse the directed reassignment (paid for by the government) what penalties would be applied to my retirement, if any?

There is a catch: If I accept the directed reassignment, I will not be allowed to retire for two years from the effective date of the reassignment. If I accept and retire before the two-year period, I will have to repay all expenses associated with the direct reassignment. If I do not accept the reassignment I will have to choose from the following options:

Voluntary optional retirement

Discontinued service

Deferred annuity

Lump-sum payment of retirement contributions

Severance pay

Availability of other nonbargaining vacancies

Volunteering for a craft position, or

Resignation in lieu of involuntary separation.

A. If you are separated because you refused that directed reassignment, you would be involuntarily separated and eligible for discontinued service retirement. Because you were four months shy of 30 years, your annuity would be 2/3 of a percentage point less (1/6 of a percent per month) than it would be if you continued to work until you had 30 years.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply