Nonfederal service buyback


Q. I am employed by the state of Massachusetts as an attorney. I am enrolled in our pension system and will be eligible to collect it at age 55. If I left employment with the state of Massachusetts before being eligible for my Massachusetts pension in terms of age and took a job with the federal government as an attorney at the Department of Justice, would I flat out lose my Massachusetts time? Or could I get credit for it under the federal system? In other words, could I “buy back” the state service toward a federal pension? Assuming the answer to the question above is that I would lose the Massachusetts time, then if I took a federal job when I was 53 and worked 10 years, to age 63, what percentage of my pay would my pension be?

A. Your nonfederal service isn’t creditable and you can’t make a deposit to get credit for it. Because this is a site for federal employees and retirees, we aren’t qualified to answer questions about nonfederal benefits. You’ll have to check with the retirement system for the state of Massachusetts.


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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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