Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Pension system and redeposits

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Q. I was a postal employee between 1983 and 1996. When leaving the Postal Service, I took a withdrawal from the pension system.

1. Could these funds be redeposited into the system so I could qualify to draw an annuity?

2. If I must return as an employee of the Postal Service AND redeposit the funds I withdrew from the pension system, how long would I have to work before I could qualify to retire? I also contributed funds into the TSP which I never withdrew. Those funds are still active with the plan.

A. You cannot redeposit the refund unless you return to work for an agency of the federal government. If you do, your retirement eligibility will depend on your age and service. Here are the combinations: age 62 and five years of service, 60 and 20, your minimum retirement age with 30 (MRAs range between 55 and 57 depending on your year of birth), your MRA with at least 10 but fewer than 30 years of service. Under the MRA+10 provision, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62.

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