Military service and federal firefighter employment


Q. I am a federal civilian firefighter under FERS. I recently bought back 12 years of active-duty military time to be applied to my retirement.

I understand that as a firefighter, I can retire at 20 years at age 50 or 25 years at any age. Do my 12 years of military time count toward this since I bought them back? I have been a federal civilian firefighter for only two years. With the 12 years added, I’ll be 43 with 25 years’ service computation (military plus civilian). Can I retire at 43 years old with the 25 years?

A. No, the years of active-duty service for which you made a deposit do not count toward the years of covered service needed to retire under the special retirement provision for firefighters. You have to have 20 years of actual covered service to retire at age 50 and 25 to retire at any age.

When you retire, the years you bought back will be computed using the standard formula.


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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