Post-56 military time


Q. Can post-56 military time that is paid back count toward retirement eligibility under FERS? I know it counts as retirement credit, but I heard that paid-back military time does not count for eligibility. For example, a FERS employee has 15 years of military service that was paid back and has 13 years FERS service and is 55 years old. That person does not qualify for an immediate annuity in two years (30 years total) because 15 years was in the military. That person must wait until age 60 to qualify for an immediate annuity under FERS.

A. What you heard was flat-out wrong. Post-56 military time for which you’ve made a deposit does count when determining your total years of service for retirement and will be used in the computation of your annuity. However, only your actual years of FERS service will be used in determining the amount of your special retirement supplement.


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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


  1. It sounds like the 15 years post-56 military service time does count towards retirement eligibility under FERS if paid back. The example cited is a real situation. The person was informed the 15 years military time DOES NOT count for retirement eligibility. Has he been misinformed?

  2. I am trying to research the best date to retire. I currently have 23 years with 7 years of military service that I paid into FERS.
    My question, if I retire at age 60 (7 years from now), how much SRS am I eligible for?

    • Your special retirement supplement will be based solely on your actual years of FERS service. Neither military service for which you’ve paid a deposit nor employment in the private sector frpm which Social Security deductions were taken will be included in that calculation. That’s because the SRS is paid out of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, not the Social Security Fund.

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