Q: I’m a Federal Employee Retirement System employee. My temporary time was done with one- year appointments (1984 to 1987), which were extended without a break, for a total of three years. Would that be considered “broken into discrete periods”? Where I could pick just one of those years to buy back?

A: That time would be considered creditable service if you make a deposit to the retirement system. However, you would have to make a deposit for the entire period. For those years to be treated as discrete entities, there would have to be a break in service between them. In other words, you would have had to be separated and then rehired.

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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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