Postal workers are federal employees


Q: As a postal employee, I would like to take a deferred retirement. I am under the FERS plan. Under the OPM website it states, “If you have completed at least 10 years of creditable service, including 5 years of civilian service, then you are eligible for deferred annuity  beginning the first day of the month after you reach the MRA. What is mean by civilian service? Are postal employees civilian or federal employees?

A: Postal employees are federal employees. The word “civilian” is used to distinguish that federal service from military service. In other words, you have to have been a FERS-covered employee for at least 10 years to be eligible for a deferred annuity. No credit can be given for military service, even if a deposit is made.


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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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