If I leave federal service before becoming eligible to retire, can get back the money I paid into the retirement system?

Yes, but this may be your best choice only if you have fewer than five years of service time creditable toward a federal annuity and do not expect to return to government employment in the future.

If you have at least five years of creditable service and do not take out a refund, you would become eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62 under both the Federal Employees Retirement System and Civil Service Retirement System—or at earlier ages depending on your years of service, under FERS. This would be based on the standard benefits formula, using your service time and your high-3 salary figure at the time of your separation.

A deferred annuity would not be payable if you took a refund, however.

Note: If you take a refund and later return to federal employment, you can repay that money, but with interest required, to recapture the prior service time.

2021 Digital Almanac

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question