Break in service


Q. I was hired by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in 1994 and resigned in 2000 to relocate across the country. Four months later, I found a new position and have been continuously employed with the federal government  since. My position in the U.S. Senate will expire at the end of the year (the senator I work for is retiring). If it takes, hypothetically, two or three months after that to find another federal position, what will that break in service do to my retirement benefits/years in service? And what about the first break in service of four months back in 2000?

A. Unless you were a bankruptcy judge, your service in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court isn’t considered creditable. If you had retirement deductions taken from your pay while you were an employee of the Senate, that service is. Assuming that you don’t take a refund of your retirement contributions when you leave the Senate, you’ll get full credit for that time when you are hired into another federal job.


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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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