Change in retirement code


Q. I was hired as an Army Reserve technician in 2004. In 2007, I was hired and transferred to a Department of the Army civilian position and I am still employed in this status. Recently, I was told that I had the wrong retirement code (K) and that it was changed from K to N. As a result (and without notice), I am now having deductions from my FERS retirement, which at the rate the Defense Finance and Accounting Services have deducted so far, I expect it to be thousands of dollars. Other than stating that it was as a result of the change, no other explanation was given as to the basis for these deductions. Do Reserve technicians receive greater FERS benefits? What is the formula that is used so that I can ensure that the correct adjustments are being applied?

A. Retirement code K is used for regular FERS employees, N for reserve technicians. Since employees hired before Jan. 1, 2013, under both codes contribute the same amount for their FERS coverage (0.8 percent) and FICA coverage (6.2 percent), I don’t understand why you would be paying more after the code was changed. You need to check with your payroll office and find out why you are being charged more.


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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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