FERS retirement


Q.  I started my civil service career on Sept. 28, 1983. I was originally under the CSRS system until 1988 and I was offered a chance to change over to FERS. This was offered to employees who had under five years of service. I chose to change to FERS. They repaid me all of my monies that I had contributed to CSR retirement (7 percent annually) except 19 percent. I am assuming that this 19 percent was to pay into the FERS system.

My question is, does all of my time count under FERS toward my retirement computation for years in FERS? Does my FERS time go back to the actual start date of my civil service career. My service comp date is Jan 28, 1982, due to my military time. I had 20 months in the Air Force. If I buy these 20 months back, does my FERS computation date go back to Jan 28, 1982. This is my SCD in EBIS system. EBIS shows me as eligible to retire on July 15, 2013. This is the date that I turn 56.

Also, does the almost five years that I was under CSRS count toward my Special Supplement Retirement computation if I choose to retire before I’m 62 years old?

A.  Because you had fewer than five years of CSRS service when FERS went on line Jan. 1, 1987, by law you had to be converted to FERS. All that prior service then became FERS service and will be included when determining your total years of service and used in your annuity and special retirement supplement computations.

If you make a deposit to get credit for your active duty military service, it will increase your years of service and be used in your annuity computation. However, that deposit service won’t count when determining the amount of your special retirement supplement, which is based solely on actual FERS service.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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