New hire pension contributions


Q. I am 46 years old. I retired from the Air Force with 21 years, five months. I receive a 60 percent Veterans Affairs Department disability, and I am currently an Army GS-12 civilian. I was hired as a new GS employee on Jan. 19, 2010. So if I understand the new pension contribution, it would include anyone who was hired after Dec. 31, 2007, or those who do not have five years of government service by Dec. 31, 2013.

1. If I make a military deposit, does it change my “new” employee status?

2. Would I still be required to pay the higher pension contribution signed into law Feb. 22, 2012, if I made the military deposit before Dec. 31, 2013?

3. If I make the deposit, does my military retirement continue until I apply for my civilian retirement?

4. Scenario: If I make a military deposit and I stay a civilian employee for at least the next 10 years, this should make me eligible for civilian FERS retirement with 32+ years (22 years of military deposit). My question is based on a hypothetical situation: If inflation outpaces my civilian pay raises and if the cost-of-living adjustments help keep my military retirement outpacing the civilian pay adjustments, do I have a choice of keeping my military retirement and receiving a refund of my military deposit with interest, or am I locked into forfeiting my military retirement for the combined civilian retirement with military deposit?

A. 1. Making the deposit would not change your new employee status.

2. Yes, you would still be required to pay the new higher contributions rate, regardless of when you made the deposit for your active duty service.

3. Yes, you can continue to receive your military retired pay until you retire from your civilian position.

4. If you decided not to waive your military retired pay when you retire from your civilian position, you’d receive a refund of your deposit plus accrued interest.


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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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