Q: Prior to attending college, I worked for the federal government for a little more than a year as a CSRS employee. Years later, I became employed with the Department of Energy under FERS. I can’t recall whether or not I withdrew my retirement funds from the CSRS when I quit the government in 1979. If I did, can I repay those funds so that my USGS employment time counts toward my length of service?
A: If you left your contributions in the retirement fund, that period of CSRS service will be treated as FERS service and you’ll be due a small refund for what amounts to excess contributions. If you took out your contributions, you can either make a deposit for that time or accept an actuarial reduction to your annuity. The reduction will be based on the amount you owe, plus accrued interest and your age at retirement. Note: If that period of service isn’t reflected in your service computation date, you’ll need to work with your personnel office to confirm that you were employed by the government back in the late 1970s.