Deployment and retirement


Q: I am a FERS air traffic controller with 22 years of service. I planned on retiring in three years with 25 years of service. I am also in the Army national guard and was just told I will be deployed for 12 months next year. How will this effect my high three for retirement? I will be on leave without pay for most of my deployment.

A: It won’t. While on military leave, your civilian pay for retirement purposes will remain the same as it would have been if you hadn’t been on military leave. However, when you get back on board you will need to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system to get credit for that time.


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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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