Returning to work


Q. I worked for the Department of Justice from August 1988 until December 1999. I recently applied for a new job within the federal government. If I am hired, will I be credited for the previous years worked?

A. You’ll only receive credit for that time if you didn’t ask for a refund of your retirement contributions when you left government. If you did get a refund, you won’t receive any credit for that time unless you redeposit the amount you took out, plus accrued interest.


About Author

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


  1. Elaine Lumsden on

    This person would get credit for eligibility with or without the redeposit. The deposit would need to be satisfied for it to count towards eligibility.

  2. Elaine Lumsden on

    Need to correct myself. The last word should be computation. It should read….

    This person would get credit for eligibility with or without the redeposit. The redeposit would need to be satisfied for it to count towards computation.

      • Elaine Lumsden on

        I am correct. The Defense Appropriations Act of 2009 changed the rules. Please see the following OPM reference at
        If you go down to redeposit service, it states:


        A redeposit is the repayment of retirement deductions that were previously withheld and refunded to you, plus interest.

        If you Received a Refund of Your Retirement Deductions

        If you receive a refund of FERS deductions and were covered by FERS on or after October 28, 2009, you may repay (or redeposit) any FERS deductions previously refunded. You may also redeposit any CSRS deductions previously refunded that covered CSRS service and is now credited under FERS rules.

        Interest is charged from the date of the refund and compounded annually. Interest is charged to the date full payment is made or the date annuity begins, whichever is earlier. For more information, view Interest Rates.

        If you do not pay for a period of this type of service, you will receive credit in determining your eligibility to retire but will not receive credit for this service in computing your retirement benefit.

        Exception for Individuals with a portion of their FERS annuity computed under CSRS Rules

        If you have a CSRS component with deposit or refund service, the CSRS rules will be used to compute the deposit or redeposit for this service.

  3. This person needs to contact HR and request their Service Computation Date (SCD) be recomputed to include the prior service. This can take a few months, as the Agency has to request their OPF from the St. Louis archives. They should also complete an SF-3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment (FERS).

    Once OPM receives and processes the form, they will know if the service time is creditable and how much it will cost to make a Redeposit.

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