GS positions and retirement


Q. I am prior Army Reserve for eight years, about two-plus years on active duty. Got out in 1992. If I were to take a GS position, would I be able to add my time in service to those years at retirement? My plan is to work at least 10-12 more years. I worked as contract for the Air Force for the past 3½ years and previously at Brooke Army Medical Center for one year as contract. Would taking a GS or Department of Veterans Affairs position be to my benefit?

A. I don’t know if it would be to your benefit. What I can tell you is that you would only get credit for any active-duty service for retirement purposes if you made a deposit for that time. On the other hand, your contract service wouldn’t be creditable.

You mention working 10-12 years after becoming a civilian employee. Although there are a variety of age and service combinations that would allow you to retire on an immediate annuity, only two would fit anyone with as little service as you would have: age 60 with at least five years of service or at your minimum retirement age (which ranges from 55 to 57 depending on your year of birth) with at least 10 years of service. If you retired under the MRA+10 provision, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62. If you didn’t meet either of these combinations, you could resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62.


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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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