Transferring from D.C. to federal government


Q. My sister is an employee of the District of Columbia government. She’s been there for a few years, and I’ve been urging her to get a position within the federal government. If she were to get a federal job, would her time with the D.C. government count toward her federal service in calculating her leave and retirement dates? Does this apply to any other state government employees?

A. Only employees of the District of Columbia government who were hired before Oct. 1, 1987, can get credit for their service if they accept a job with the federal government. Anyone hired on or after that date cannot. With rare exception, employment with state and local governments isn’t creditable, regardless of when it occurred.


About Author

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


        • The writer asked if he could get credit for service with the District of Columbia government. I told hims the following: “Only employees of the District of Columbia government who were hired before Oct. 1, 1987, can get credit for their service if they accept a job with the federal government.” Because this site deals solely with matters relating to federal government employment, I don’t know if the District of Columbia recognizes federal service when hiring someone.

  1. If an employee of the District of Columbia government who was hired before Oct. 1, 1987 and was in CSRS but less than 5 years, then took a position in the Federal government, should they have been put in CSRS or FERS?

  2. Does this apply to service in the DC government’s Summer Youth Employment Program before October 1987? It’s only FICA time, but would that service be creditable to their Federal SCD for leave and RIF?

    • I have no idea. You’ll have to check with your personnel office. If they can’t answer your question, they can check with OPM.

  3. gerry burchett on

    if i work for d.c dept of corrections from 1992 to 2000 then when to the federal govt and was in the navy from 1987 to 1991 to all my time counts toward federal govt . please tell me whats counts

    • The period of time when you worked for the DC government doesn’t count. Your period of active duty service would only count if you made a deposit to the civilian retirement system, plus accrued interest.

    • hi Gerry
      there are several laws that apply to DCDC service and LEO. Im just checking to see if your issue got properly resolved or not. reach out to me . Im n your boat as well Im on gmail. houston3483

  4. I previously worked Federal Government- started 12/1980. Left 11/1998 with 18.5 years.

    Came to DC Government 6/25/12.

    DC Government never ask if – I was prior Federal – later I discovered that I should give them my SF 50

    I was given a EOD Date 1995 & put into FERS

    Later – I asked why they had adjusted my EOD Date from 12/1980 to 1995 & was told to calculate my AL Earnings – which I never understood 15 years over is 8 hours a pay period.

    My concern is this – Now age 64 – DOB 3/04/1954 DC Government says I need 10 Years Working in DC to Retire – I now have six years.

    If the Federal Government is 62 years old & 5 Years to Retire why is dc ten years regardless of your age?

    Why did DC Government give me a EOD Date 1995?

    I now have six years as of 6/25/18

    How can I get to someone who knows to verify all this?

    • This is a site for federal employees and retirees. We don’t know anything about the rules governing the District of Columbia’s retirement system.

  5. I retired from the District government under the federal civil service retirement system in 2009. I returned to work for the District government in 2012. When I left in 2017, I realized that the District government had taken 7% CSRS out of my pay from 2012 to 2017. Should this be added onto my retirement or should the DC government have taken social security out of my pay instead.

    • I don’t know what the rules are for the District government. However, if you were rehired by a federal government agency, you would have had the option to be covered by either CSRS or FERS.

  6. DC Government is so difficult to get smswers to your questions. Especially when you have years of Federal & come to DC.

    I often wonder how many folks lose out on their retirement due to the lack of concern.

    There is no oversight or no one coming into this DC Government you can rely on or go to for accurate information

    I became so frustrated with DC Government – I would NEVER go back or have anything positive to tell anyone about DC Government other than they pay very well. And you don’t necessarily have to know or do your job – it’s very Polictical – a lot of folks Protected – Untouchable- Cuththroat Culture & quick to Fire you or get rid of you if you don’t act like or think like the culture that exist.

    • hi Mary
      I agree its a tough system but remember nothing is totally untouchable…maybe just incredibly difficult ! maybe you should start or join a forum as your not the only employee to suffer and collective knowledge may make a difference.
      email me on gmail ..houston3483

    • Jessika Taylor on

      I currently work for DC gov and left the feds to come here. I got the runaround and was told that my 8+ years of federal service would translate to service time in DC gov by the HR guy who made my job offer. He was so wrong. I’ve now been here about a year and a half and am actively working to get back to the Feds.

      DC gov does not pay very well. I had to negotiate my salary up to a step 6 to be the equivalent of the same grade step 1 in the feds. Like you, I have nothing positive to say about DC gov and have witnessed many protected people who do absolutely nothing collecting a six figure salary. It’s extremely political and not in a good way. I’ve never been told so many times that my job is safe…of course it should be safe: I’m a stellar employee who produces work in a timely fashion and volunteers for extra projects. Why would my job NOT be safe?? After reading what you said about the cutthroat culture and how they’re quick to fire/get rid of you if you’re not their puppet, it makes sense – I thought it was just my agency; disappointing to know it’s rampant. I blame the political climate (extremely far left meaning no accountability and a huge waste of taxpayer dollars at every turn) as well as the fact that the OG Chocolate City residents are incredibly racist toward anyone who isn’t black. The worst black employees in the office get away with doing nothing all day and the white/Latino employees are either worked to death or crucified. If nothing else, I hope that some DC hopeful will see this and run the other way rather than applying for a job.

  7. I too left the federal government and came to the district government. Trying to ascertain whether I should be under the Federal retirement guidelines or dc retirement. I came to the District in 1988 from the federal government. In addition, I came to the Department of Correction. After 32 years I still don’t have the answer as nobody seem to knows. Right now they have me under the DC retirement guidelines and I don’t think that is correct. I always thought the district must take federal time but the federal do not have to take district time.

  8. I am under the understanding that the when the Federal Government took over the District Government’s Department of Corrections, all officers time was converted to federal service. Is this incorrect?

Leave A Reply