Military service and federal employment and retirement


Q. I was born on Aug. 2, 1967, and was in the military for nine years and three months (Feb. 25, 1992, to June 13, 2001). I worked at the VA hospital for 11 months (October 2003 to September 2004) and while there received my 10 years of service pin.

I am looking to obtain GS employment again (soon) and wanted to know if I could retire and receive a retirement check once I complete 10 more years of service, giving me 20 years of service. If I am unable to receive my retirement check after 20 years of service, at age 55, when would I be eligible to? Given the scenario above, what is the best retirement option for me once I am back in the GS system (FERS or CSRS), and do I have to pay money back to receive a retirement check?

A. No, you couldn’t retire with 20 years of service. The earliest you could retire would be when you reached your minimum retirement age, which is 56 years and six months. Further, you would get credit for your active-duty service only if you made a deposit to the retirement system.


About Author

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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