Service credit


Q. I’m a FERS employee. Before I got a career position, I was in a temporary appointment for a year. I’ve been told that I could buy back my temp time by making a deposit to the retirement system. Is that true?

A. Unfortunately, no. Under FERS, periods of non-deduction service performed on or after Jan. 1, 1989, aren’t creditable for either length of service or annuity computation purposes.


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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. My SF-2803 (Application to Make Deposit) and SF-2801-1 (Certified Summary of Federal Service) was prepared and approves by my agency. Do they forward it to OPM even the Deposit wasn’t paid yet. Because I change my mind, I will not ask my agency to credit my non-citizen base worker employment. Is it possible? Thanks

    • The fact that you haven’t made a deposit – and don’t intend to do that – nullifies the application you made. When you let your personnel office know of your decision, they’ll retrieve and cancel the paperwork.

  2. The answer to the original poster’s question should have been “If your temporary service was performed before 1989, it is possible you could buy that time.” I could have written that post (with the change to two months temporary appointment). My temporary position was in 1976, so it qualified. I bought back that time in 2015, almost 40 years later. I don’t see any reference in the original question as to when the service was performed, so it’s possible it was before 1989.

  3. Pam Stanberry on


    I am a reservist. I bought back my active duty military time in 2006 which changed my SCD to April 2005. This year 2020 I bought back my recent active military time. Will my SCD change again to reflect the recent buyback?

    Thank you,
    Pamela Stanberry


    I am a army veteran I bought my active duty time back, and I want it to know if I could buy back my reserve time witch is 11 years thank you

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