'Back' time


Q. I worked from 1995 to 2005 for the Postal Service. For the first six years, I was a rural carrier associate. For the last three years, I was career with my own route. I may be going back to work for the Postal Service very soon and want to know what “back” time will be counted toward my retirement?  Since I have a seven-year break in service, am I even entitled to get any of those years counted toward retirement?

Is it by hours worked or by years worked? I was hoping I would get back at least the three years I was a career employee. But is there any way to get back the additional six years? Is that where buying back FERS comes in?

A. Assuming that you didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions when you left, you’ll automatically get credit for the time that you were a career employee. However, if you took a refund, you won’t get any credit unless you redeposit that money, plus accrued interest. On the other hand, none of your time as an RCA will count, nor can you get credit for it by making a deposit.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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