Military time and creditable service


Q. I was in the Air National Guard full time for 14 years. Now I work for the Postal Service and have been there 16 years. I bought back my military time and had the 30+ years funded. Then, I received a letter from USPS human resources that my military time was not federally creditable, and they returned my buyback money. The post office is saying I was paid by the state and not by the federal government. I really wanted to be a part of the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority this month, but this has become a mess. If my military time is state would my post office (federal time) count as state if I got a state job?

A. Service in the National Guard is never creditable unless you were called or drafted into the actual service of the United States. If you were called to active duty for training (ANACDUTRA) while an employee of the federal government, you’ve already received credit for that time and no deposit would be required.

Whether your service in the National Guard would be creditable if you were hired by a state is something you’ll have to ask its employment office. I’m only able to answer questions about federal benefits.


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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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