Military service and retirement credit


Q: Did I overpay to get credit for my military service? According to a Government Executive newsletter article (Jan. 15, 2010, issue), Federal Employees Retirement System employees were supposed to pay 3 percent of the base pay they earned during military service in order to get retirement credit for that service, while Civil Service Retirement System employees were to pay 7 percent. I paid at the 7 percent rate in 2002 although I was a FERS employee at the time. Specifically, although I began as a federal employee under CSRS in 1976 after my military service, I voluntarily switched to FERS in January 1988. Should I have only paid 3 percent? If so, what should I do now?

A: No, you shouldn’t have paid 3 percent. Active-duty military service performed before or during employment under CSRS will be credited to the CSRS component of your annuity. Therefore, to get that credit you had to pay the deposit associated with that retirement system. The fact that you are now covered by FERS is irrelevant.


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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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