Useful Information for Seperating Employees


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The following information is provided for separating employees. Benefits are the same for separating CSRS, CSRS Offset, and FERS employees EXCEPT for retirement benefits.


   General Information

You should receive some/all of the following forms within 30 days of separation:
    SF 50 or Notification of Personnel Action
    SF 2810 Notice of Change in Health Enrollment
    SF 2821 Agency Certification of Insurance
    SF 2819 Notice of Conversion Privilege Federal Employee Group Life Insurance
    SF 8 Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) Program



All Veterans have permanent eligibility for reinstatement.  Non-veterans who left as career employees have permanent eligibility for reinstatement.
Non-veterans who left as career conditional employees are eligible for reinstatement for three years.  If you return to career-conditional employment within 30 days, time previously served is credited.  If you return to a career-conditional position after a 30 day break in service, you start another three-year waiting period before you receive career status.

NOTE: If separated before completing your probationary period and you return to the same line of work within 30 days, time previously served is credited.  If your return is after more than 30 days separation, you restart the probationary period.


Annual Leave

Upon separation from federal employment, employees are entitled to a lump-sum payment of all accrued annual leave.  Payment is included in your last paycheck.  The separating employee is paid for all hours of unused annual leave, including any hours above 240, as long as the separation date is before the last day of the last pay period of the leave year.  This payment is based on the rate of pay the employee would have received had he/she remained in service (5 USC 5551).


Sick Leave

No payment is made for unused sick leave although it may be recredited if the employee is reemployed on or after December 2, 1994, provided the sick leave was not previously forfeited as a result of reemployment before December 2, 1994 (5 CFR 630.502(b)).


Health Insurance

You are covered under your present plan for up to 31 days after your separation date (at no cost to you). Additionally, you have     the opportunity to continue your FEHB coverage for up   to 18 months under the Temporary Continuation of Health Benefits Coverage (TCC). See details   below.



Public Law 100-654 (Temporary Continuation of Health Benefits Coverage (TCC)) applies to enrollees who separate from service.
NOTE: Enrollees who separate for gross misconduct are not eligible for TCC.



The separating employee pays both the employee and government share of the health benefits premium, plus an administrative fee of approximately 2% of the premium.


Effective Date & Length of Coverage

Retroactive to the day after the 31-day temporary extension of coverage terminates.  The length of coverage for separating employees is 18 months from the date of separation.


During Coverage under TCC

The employee may enroll for self only or self & family; may enroll in any plan or option.  The employee has the opportunity to change his/her enrollment during an open season, or when an event occurs that would allow an employee to change enrollment.


After TCC Terminates

TCC has a 31-day extension of coverage, at no cost, in the same enrollment category held at the time TCC expires (other than for cancellation), and the employee has the right to convert to a private policy.



If an employee separates by RIF, the employee can enroll in TCC, paying only their share and the government pays its share plus the 2% administrative fee.


Life Insurance

Life insurance coverage terminates 31 days after separation. However, an employee may apply for (convert to) an individual life insurance policy. The employing office provides the appropriate certificate (SF 2821) and form (SF 2819).

- Physical exam not required
- Employee will be provided information from OFEGLI on the insurance company availability.                                
- Individual policy may be written for an amount equal to or less than the total amount of life insurance the employee has under the  Group Policy, including all options on the date employee's insurance stops.
- Written application and payment of the first premium must be made within 31 days after the employee's insurance stops or within 31 days after the employee receives notification of its termination, whichever is later. Premiums will likely be higher than those paid under the Group Policy.


Retirement Funds

When an individual separates and is off the rolls at least 30 days or returns in an uncovered position, and is not eligible for an annuity, they may apply to OPM to receive a refund of their retirement fund. The separating employee is not required to withdraw the money in their retirement fund at the time of separation. It is important the individual understands their options, and consequences, if he/she does elect to withdraw their funds.

If the employee has less than five years of creditable civilian service, the employee is not vested and is not eligible for a deferred retirement.  The individual can receive their money with interest.  If the individual returns to federal service, he/she may apply to make the redeposit with interest added from the date the refund was received.  If the individual has more than five years, there is no interest added in the refund.  When a refund is received, he/she does not maintain any right to an annuity.  If the individual does not request a refund and has over five years of civilian service, he/she can apply for a deferred annuity at age 62.


CSRS & CSRS Offset

Upon rehire, if the individual has CSRS coverage upon separation and returns within 365 days, he/she will retain CSRS coverage.  However, if he/she returns after 365 days, the employee must have at least 5 years potentially creditable civilian service by 12/31/86 or as of last break with any amount of CSRS coverage to be CSRS Offset since they are subject to Social Security coverage.  If the individual is vested in CSRS (five-year rule) and returns to a non-covered position, the coverage would be FICA.  If the appointment is to a position that cannot be covered by CSRS, but may be covered by FERS, the rehire would be FICA with the opportunity to elect FERS.

If the refund was received, since it was CSRS money, the refund can be repaid, even if the coverage changes to FERS upon return.


FERS Employees

The employee may apply for a refund.  If the individual has more than one year of service, interest is added to the contributions to be a part of the refund.  FERS employees should be cautioned on the withdrawal of funds.  

Refunded FERS service cannot be repaid if the employee returns to government service.  The service covered by the refund cannot be credited for retirement purposes.

If the individual leaves their money in the retirement fund and has at least five years of civilian service, he/she will be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62. If the employee has 10 years of service, the employee may apply for a deferred annuity at their minimum retirement age (MRA).



Survivor Benefits - CSRS/CSRS Offset Employees

If the employee is separated and not retired, there are no survivor benefits available other than the lump sum of the retirement fund without interest.


FERS Employees

A survivor annuity; is generally payable to the spouse of the deceased former employee if the former employee had 10 or more years of service (military & civilian, with a minimum of 5 years of civilian service), even if he/she did not apply for retirement; If the former employee had less than 10 years, the spouse would be entitled to a lump sum payment of the retirement fund with interest.


Thrift Savings Plan Funds

The separating employee is not required to withdraw the money in his/her account at the time of separation. The separating employee has several withdrawal options. After separation the individual may no longer contribute to the TSP, but he/she still has the opportunity to make inter-fund transfers. Visit the TSP website for more information.



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