Retirement after reinstatement


Q. I separated from federal service in 2007 after 19 years in FERS. At the time of separation, I withdrew my Thrift Savings Plan contributions. I am considering returning to federal service.

I was born in 1961. If I return to federal service, what will be my minimum retirement age? Are there special service requirements for reinstated federal employees? Am I required to return funds I withdrew from the TSP? If not required, is it still possible to return TSP funds that were withdrawn and deposited in another 401(k)? How will my FERS retirement annuity be calculated? Where can I obtain publications that explain the reinstatement and retirement rules?

A. Mike: You may choose to transfer eligible (pretax) funds from a 401(k) plan account into your new TSP account, but this is not required.

Reg: Because you were born in 1961, your minimum retirement age is 56. There are no bars to your being reinstated if someone wants to hire you. When you retire, your annuity will be calculated like any other retiring FERS employee. If you retire at your MRA with 30 years of service, age 60 with 20 or at 62 with at least five, the following formula will be used: .01 x your high-3 x your years and full months of service. If you retire at age 60 with at least 20 years of service, the multiplier will be increased to .011. The other option is to retire at your MRA with at least 10 but fewer than 30 years of service. However, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 of 1 percent per month) that you were under age 62. That age penalty could be reduced by retiring and delaying the receipt of your annuity to a later date.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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