Retirement eligibility


Q: I am a 70-year-old physician employed by the Army as a Defense Department civilian for eight months. I have previous experience in the Public Health Service (Indian Health Service) of 7.6 years from 1968 to 1975. When am I eligible to retire? My HR office tells me that my time in the PHS is creditable service. Does that satisfy the requirement of five years of civil service?

A: No, it doesn’t. You need to have five years of FERS-covered service to retire.


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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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