Creditable service


Q. I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1984 and retired in 2004 with 20 years of service. In March 2006, I was hired as a Defense Department civilian and have been so to date. I completed my deposit for Military Service Credit in 2011 and have my letter for “paid In full.” I would like to retire at MRA 56 years, four months (1966). Does my time in service (military), if combined at retirement, override the minimum years of creditable service, therefore foregoing the penalty for retiring under age 60. My understanding is that you need MRA plus 30 years service to avoid a penalty. I would have 20 years military service and 16.5 years civil service. I might stay longer, but wanted to know my options.
A. Having made a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service, that time will count when determining your total years of service for retirement. Note: When you apply for retirement from your civilian job, you’ll have to waive your military retired pay; otherwise, you won’t get any credit for your active-duty service and your deposit will be refunded to you, with accrued interest.


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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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