Is there a downside to taking a buyout?

Employees who accept separation pay lose their eligibility for benefits that would have applied if they had been laid off in a RIF. These include the full amount of the severance pay entitlement (which could have been larger than the buyout maximum), discontinued service retirement (if otherwise eligible), selection priority and job search assistance. (Note: Most states consider buyout takers ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits.)

Employees accepting the incentives must agree not to return to another federal job within five years unless they repay the full (pretax) amount of their payments if they are re-employed, often prior to their first day at the new government job. This applies to any appointment, of any duration, full or part time, temporary or permanent, in the Postal Service as well as other parts of the federal government.

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