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Federal employees who are involuntarily separated, other than for misconduct or delinquency, and who have 25 years of service (or are 50 years old and have only 20 years of service) will be entitled to a Discontinued Service Retirement annuity.

The purpose of the discontinued service retirement is to cushion the blow to a federal employee who finds himself or herself involuntary separated from their Agency after investing years in federal service.

An involuntary separation includes any separation without an employee’s consent, or against the employee’s will – so long as it is not for “cause”. “for cause” separation includes removals for misconduct or delinquency.

Here are some scenarios when a Federal employee may be eligible for a Discontinued Service Retirement:

Reduction-in-force (RIF):

Abolishment of position;

Lack of funds;

Expiration of incumbent’s term of office;

Removal due to unacceptable performance (unless due to misconduct);

Transfer of function outside commuting area;

Reassignment outside commuting area when no mobility agreement exists;

Failure to continue to meet qualification requirements of the

position (provided the separation is non-disciplinary and the action is initiated by the Agency);

Separation during probation because of failure to qualify due to performance (not misconduct);

As always, the rules and regulations surrounding retirement from Federal government service can be very complicated. If you would like to speak with an attorney from Pines Federal regarding your federal employment matter or MSPB appeal, please contact us today.

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Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative.

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