Retirement benefits with 5 years


Q. Is there a plan where civil service employees who are 65/66 years old with only five years of civil service will be eligible to receive any retirement benefits? I did not start my civil service time until September 2010 at age 63. I was given approximately nine months credit for my Vietnam time, bringing my service computation date to Nov. 6, 2009.

A. Any employee who is age 62 or older can retire with five years of creditable service. While your nine months of active-duty service was used to establish your leave accrual rate, it can’t be used in determining your years of service for retirement purposes, unless you make a deposit to the retirement system. However, you would still need five years of actual FERS service to be vested in the retirement system and eligible for an annuity.


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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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