Creditable military service 2016

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If you have spent time in the military, you may be entitled to credit for that time in the computation of your Civil Service Retirement System or Federal Employee Retirement System annuity. To be eligible, you must have done one of the following:

  • Served on active duty in the armed forces, which are defined as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard and, after June 30, 1960, in the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service or, after June 30, 1961, in the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration;
  • Served as a cadet in the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard academies or as a midshipman at the Naval Academy;
  • Been called to active duty or active duty for training while in the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps or the Naval or Marine Corps Reserve Officers Training Corps.

Note: Service in the U.S. Merchant Marine is not considered to be military service. Nor, as a rule, is service in a reserve component of the armed forces or the National Guard, unless you were called to active duty in the service of the United States.

Social Security
Since Jan. 1, 1957, everyone serving in the military has been covered by Social Security. And, since Jan. 1, 1984, every civilian newly hired by the federal government (or returning to work after a break in service) has been covered by Social Security. To prevent employees from getting credit twice for the same period of employment — once from Social Security and a second time from a civilian annuity — the law was changed in 1982. As a result there are now two sets of rules. One is for those employees first hired before Oct. 1, 1982 and another for those hired on or after that date.

Hiring date
If you were first hired before Oct. 1, 1982, you’ll get credit for your active-duty time in determining your eligibility to retire. You’ll also have the option of making a deposit to the civilian retirement system to get credit for that post-1956 service in the computation of your annuity.

Whether you actually need to make a deposit depends on your eligibility for a Social Security benefit. OPM only checks once to see if you are eligible: at age 62 if you retired before that age or when you retire, if it’s on or after the date on which you turn 62.

If you are eligible for a Social Security benefit when Office of Personnel Management checks and you haven’t made a deposit for your active-duty service, those years will be deducted from your total years of creditable service and your annuity recomputed without them. If you haven’t made a deposit and aren’t eligible for a Social Security benefit when OPM checks, your annuity won’t be affected.If you were hired on or after Oct. 1, 1982, you’ll only get credit for your

If you were hired on or after Oct. 1, 1982, you’ll only get credit for your active-duty service if you make a deposit to the civilian retirement system for that time. If you don’t, it won’t be used either to determine your eligibility to retire or in your annuity computation. As a result, when you do retire, your annuity will be based solely on your years of civilian employment.

Special rules
If you are receiving military retired pay based on active duty service in the armed forces, it doesn’t make any difference when you were hired as a civilian. You’ll have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system to get credit for that time and, with one exception, you’ll have to waive your military retired pay before you retire.
Here’s the exception. You can keep your military retired pay if you were awarded it because of a service-connected disability either incurred in combat with an enemy of the United States or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war.If you decide to waive your military retired pay, you’ll have to notify the Retired Pay Operations Center at least 60 days before your planned retirement. You can either mail your request to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, U.S. Military Retirement Pay, P.O. Box 7130, London, KY 40742-7130 or FAX your request to 1-800-469-6559.

If you decide to waive your military retired pay, you’ll have to notify the Retired Pay Operations Center at least 60 days before your planned retirement. You can either mail your request to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, U.S. Military Retirement Pay, P.O. Box 7130, London, KY 40742-7130 or FAX your request to 1-800-469-6559.

When called to active duty
If you are called to active duty while employed by the federal government and are placed on Leave Without Pay-Uniformed Service (LWOP-US), that period of time will be governed by the same rules that apply to all employees who want to get credit for periods of active duty military service. You’ll have to make a deposit for the entire period of your absence on LWOP-US to get credit for that time after you return to your civilian position.Note: There are situations where a deposit won’t be required. For example, if you take annual leave for all or a portion of the time you are on active duty. So there it is, in a nutshell. If you’ve ever served on active duty in the military, you need to be aware of your options. And, if it makes sense for you to do so, take the steps necessary to get credit for that time.

Note: There are situations where a deposit won’t be required. For example, if you take annual leave for all or a portion of the time you are on active duty. So there it is, in a nutshell. If you’ve ever served on active duty in the military, you need to be aware of your options. And, if it makes sense for you to do so, take the steps necessary to get credit for that time.

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