Returning to federal employment


Q: I worked for customs for 13 months and resigned about 10 years ago. I did not use any of my accrued sick leave nor did I transfer it when I left. I was recently hired by DHS/TSA part-time. Can you please tell me:
1. How do I get the unused sick leave I had when I resigned credited back to me?
2. In reference to TSP, can I start to contribute right away, along with receiving the ageny matching contributions, or do I have to wait like all new employees?
3. Is there a formula for calculating FERS retirement for just part-time service; which is the type of retirement I will be pursuing?

A: If you are a rehired FERS or CSRS employee who had a break in service of 31 or more full calendar days, regardless of whether you were enrolled prior to your break, your agency will automatically enroll you in the TSP. Each pay period, 3 percent of your basic pay will be deducted from your paycheck and deposited in your TSP account, unless you elect to contribute immediately upon rehire. You can change or stop your contributions at any time after you are rehired. To learn how, visit Starting, Changing, and Stopping Your Contributions. If you are a FERS employee, your Agency Automatic (1 percent) and Agency Matching Contributions (if you are contributing your own money) will also begin immediately.


About Author

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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