State employment and creditable service


Q. I am a 54-year-old federal government employee under FERS. I have 10 years federal service from the military and three years of permanent service as a civilian government employee for a total of 13 years (I have not bought back the 10 years). I also have 13 years of state time from teaching. I would like to know if I can transfer my 13 years of state time to my federal time for retirement and vice versa. I am concerned about my retirement, and I am considering leaving the government without a retirement and working for either a public school or college as either a teacher or an administrative assistant.

A. The federal government has never considered time spent in a state or local government to be creditable service. While it’s unlikely that your federal service would be considered creditable by a state or local government, that decision would be up them.


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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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