Q. Years ago I worked at for the Corps of Engineers during several periods totaling 10 to 12 years, depending on how months and days were counted. During that time I converted from CRCS to FERS and withdrew my retirement funds.  I am considering returning to Civil Service. Where can I find out my exact time in service, how much time I must work to get eligible for retirement pay, pay back amounts into the system to be eligible for retirement, etc.?

A. To learn how to access your prior federal employment records, go to the National Personnel Records Center site at and click on “Frequently asked questions.” You won’t be able to get case-specific information about how much you would owe, when you would be eligible to retire, and what your annuity would be unless you return to work for the federal government.


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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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