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Do you qualify for the Discontinued Service Retirement program?

by | Mar 28, 2021 | Retirement Issues

One of the worst things that can happen to you is an unexpected loss of your job. This can be particularly challenging to deal with the closer you were nearing retirement age.

If you recently separated from your federal job against your will, then you’ve undoubtedly begun looking for resources to help you make ends meet as you sort out what to do during the next chapter in your life. You’ll want to learn a bit more about the Discontinued Service Retirement (DSR) and your potential eligibility for it. 

What is the Discontinued Service Retirement program, and who qualifies for it?

The Discontinued Service Retirement (DSR) program federal long-service employees an immediate annuity to lessen the impact of their job loss. Any potential program participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Held a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) position for one of the last two years pre-separation
  • Have at least 20 years of creditable federal service (depending on your age)
  • Have completed at least five years of civilian service
  • No record or declining another reasonable job offer

Any employee looking to qualify for DSR must show that they received advanced notice of their involuntary separation due to a reassignment outside of an employee’s commuting area or a reduction in force.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) decides whether an employee’s job separation was involuntary or due to delinquency or misconduct.

Benefits of Discontinued Service Retirement participation

You may be able to retain your health and life insurance in addition to receiving a CSRS annuity if OPM deems that your separation was involuntary.

Factors that may affect your eligibility for Discontinued Service Retirement benefits

Your eligibility for benefits may not go away if you acquire non-federal employment but will if you accept a federal job. How much you receive if hired on for a temporary federal role may be offset by the annuity that you receive.

Sorting out your eligibility for the Discontinued Service Retirement may seem pretty straightforward, but complications may arise when trying to prove that you meet the eligibility criteria. You may also find it easy to prove that you qualify for the program, but find that the federal government is quick to take your benefits away as soon as you assume a new role. An attorney who understands the DSR program can advocate for you when your benefits seem to be on the line.