Credit for two separate periods of service


Q: I have worked for the Army as a civilian for a total of 25 years and recently sent for an early retirement estimate. I was covered under the Civil Service Retirement System from 1983 to 1987, then switched over to the Federal Employees Retirement System. I quit in 1994 and took a lump sum retirement refund (thinking I would not work for the government again) but ended up returning to work for the Army in 1997. In 2002, I spoke with a benefits person within the Army, who advised me not to make the retirement redeposit. She said I would receive credit for the years worked but that my annuity would be reduced accordingly. I have now been told by the Army Benefits Center that unless I make the redeposit, my total service credit will be reduced by almost 11 years (4 years, 2 months, 4 days of noncreditable CSRS service and 6 years, 7 months, 16 days of noncreditable FERS service). The redeposit would have cost me $8,000 in 2002 but is currently estimated to be more than $12,000. Will making the redeposit ensure that I am credited for the 10-plus years of service toward my retirement (for both CSRS and FERS)?

A: If you make a deposit for those two periods of service, you will get full credit for that time. Note: Because you had fewer than five years of CSRS service, it would be treated as FERS service when your annuity is calculated.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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