Retirement eligibility


Q. I’m a permanent Department of the Army civilian employee under FERS. I was hired July 27, 2009, as a temporary term employee and converted to permanent status Feb. 14, 2010. I’ve had full benefits from the start of my employment, except for medical, which I started in January 2010. All of my benefits have continued without interruption (I think I had either two or three days leave without pay while on term).

I have two years and seven months of military service from the 1960s. I’ve been looking into buying back my service time, but since I don’t have the buyback numbers yet, I haven’t made a decision one way or the other.

I’m 66 years old. What would be the earliest date I could retire maintaining my pension benefits and medical insurance (vesting)?

A. Because you are at least 62 years old, you can retire when you have five years of actual FERS service. Periods of active-duty service for which you’ve made a deposit don’t count toward that five-year requirement; they are only used when computing your annuity when you are qualified to receive it. Temporary service for which retirement deductions weren’t taken from your pay isn’t creditable, nor can you make a deposit to make it creditable.


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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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