Federal service, service computation date and VERA


Q. I am a civilian employee and have been continuously employed by the Department of Justice and then the Environmental Protection Agency since September 1994. I also had one year of federal service from 1986 to 1987, as a judicial law clerk for the Ninth Circuit.

My pay stub says my service computation date is September 1993; however, my HR office says it is September 1994 and that the earlier year doesn’t count.

First, which SCD is accurate? Or what further facts would you need to determine that? Second, when would I be eligible for a VERA, if my agency obtains authorization for one?

A. Your HR office is mistaken. Employment as a clerk in the U.S. courts is creditable service. Go to www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C020.pdf, scroll to Page 81 and look under U.S. courts. However, if retirement deductions weren’t taken from your pay when you worked there, you would have to make a deposit to get credit for the time in your annuity computation.

To accept a VERA, an employee would have to meet one of the following age and service requirements: age 50 with 20 years or any age with 25.


About Author

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

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