Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Leave without pay to test private sector

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Q. I am career permanent in federal government employment as GS-14. I wish to leave to take a private-sector job to see if I like it. How long can I remain on unpaid leave of absence and still have return rights back into federal employment?

A. You are asking about leave without pay, the granting of which is solely at the discretion of your management. Your management would be unlikely to grant LWOP to someone who wants to test private-sector waters. It would provide little or no benefit to them and would tie up a position they would be better off recruiting for and filling.

If you want to resign from the government and take another job, you are free to do so. If you leave your contributions in the retirement fund and later return to government employment, you’ll get full credit for your years of service in your leave accrual rate, determining your eligibility to retire, and your annuity computation. If you withdraw your contributions, you could redeposit that amount plus accrued interest to get retirement credit for that time.

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Comments

  1. Kevin Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Wow……..A GS-14 actualy thinks this is a good question? If this is the way they think, they probably shouldnt be a GS 14. I also wonder if they would let the people they manage do the same thing. This is one of the dumbest questions I have ever heard in the 10 years I have been in government.

  2. Mike Says:
    February 23rd, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Since a Furlough is VERY similar to LWOP, it looks like the Federal Government thinks it’s a GREAT idea.