Retirement code 'K'


Q: I am a federal firefighter working in a “secondary firefighter” position. My LES shows a FERS retirement code of “K.” What benefits/retirement does this code entail? I also heard that legislation is in the works to increase the mandatory primary  firefighter retirement age from 57 to either 62 or 65? Is there any truth to that?

A: “K” applies to anyone covered by FERS and FICA who will be entitled to regular retirement benefits. Any period of service which is classified as “K” isn’t covered service for law enforcement or firefighter retirement purposes. I don’t pay attention to legislation that is in the works because most bills don’t become law, and those that do seldom have provisions in them that look the way they started out. There are enough real problems to worry about without fretting over those that might be.


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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


  1. David Stokes on

    I was first hired as a GS civilian under the FERS program in August 2011 – February 2015. My FERS deduction code was ‘K’. I resigned, had a year gap of service and re-enter the GS under FERS. From Feb 2016 until Jan 2017, my FERS code was listed as “KF” and a higher rate of money was withheld for Retire, FERS (KF). From Jan 2017 until present, my FERS retire code was changed to “F” and my FERS Retire contribution rate lowered to what it had been from Aug 2011 – Feb 2015. However, I received no reimbursement/refund for the hire FERS withholding rate from Feb 2016 – Jan 2017. Is this all correct? Thanks

    • Because you were first hired before 2013, your contribution rate was set at .08 percent (K). You left when you had fewer than 5 years of service. When you returned, your contribution rate was erroneously set at 4.4 percent (KF). When the error was found, it should have been changed to 3.1 percent (KR). Any excess reduction must be returned to you by your agency.

  2. Hi, I was in the military for 16.5 years (1992 -2008) and then join USPTO federal civilian service from 2014 – 2018. I am 30% disable veteran(I’m not sure if it matters), but I see a retirement code of FERS (Code KF) with a Retirement SCD of 9/08/2014. What does this retirement date and Code FERS KF mean in my situation?

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