Wrong retirement system?


Q. I worked for the Forest Service in high school in the summers of 1981 and 1982, then permanently in 1983. I was put on leave without pay in October 1983 due to lack of funds. I was under FICA retirement on my SF-50.  I joined the active-duty Air Force in January 1984 because I was unemployed. I spent 20 years with the Air Force, retired and started working for the Veterans Affairs Department. Would I qualify for CSRS? I was just told you are FERS, period. But that was before my Forest Service records were obtained to show previous government service. 

A. You were correctly placed in FERS. Although your earlier periods of employment would be considered creditable service, they were not under CSRS. Even if they were creditable, only those with five years of full-time CSRS service before Jan. 1, 1987 — when FERS went online — would be entitled to CSRS coverage.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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