Military leave without pay and retirement


Q. I was hired as federal civilian Feb. 21, 2006. I was called to active duty August 2006-2007.

I went back to my civilian job from August 2007 until the end of March 2008 and was then called back to active duty through March 2011. I returned to civilian service and have been there since the end of June 2011.

I want to retire under the optional five-year retirement. I was on military leave without pay during all my active duty and paid into FERS when I returned to federal service. Is my time on military LWOP creditable toward the five-year civilian service requirement?

A. Yes. Since you are a FERS employee who made a deposit to get credit for that time, according to OPM, “An employee who enters military service and is retained by his or her agency in a furlough or leave-without-pay status is considered to be on both active duty with the military and on leave of absence from his or her civilian position. The employee receives credit for the period of military furlough as civilian service rather than military service.”


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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