Civilian time vs. military time


Q. I am a civilian federal employee under FERS with 14 years of credit. For various reasons, I am considering joining the military or reserve and leaving my civilian status. I see many references to military service counting toward subsequent civilian service, but I don’t find anything regarding the opposite. Will my civilian time transfer to the military or reserve? Where can I find more info on the best way to plan for this?

A. No, your civilian service won’t transfer to either your military reserve or active-duty service, and you can’t make a deposit to get credit for it.


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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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