Active-duty service and federal employment


Q: I am considering a civil service position and need help sorting out how my prior active-duty service may affect pay and retirement. I have 17 years of active-duty time; I took a lump-sum payout when I left. Is my time creditable toward seniority, pay and retirement if I take a civil service position?

A: If you are hired into a civilian job in the federal government, you would need to make a deposit for your period of active-duty service to get credit for that time. While it would count in establishing your years of service, your annual leave accrual rate and, eventually, in your annuity calculation, it would only have an effect on your pay if the knowledge, skills and abilities you gained while in the service resulted in your being qualified for a higher-level position.


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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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