Break in federal service


Q. Will I lose my federal years of service for retirement if I get out of the military after nine years and continue my education, then decide to join the U.S. Marshals or a federal agency after a three-year break. Does my 20 years of service have to be continuous?

A. You would only be able to get credit for your period of active-duty service if you made a deposit to the civilian retirement fund after being hired. Even then, those years would not qualify as covered service under the enhanced benefit provision for law enforcement officers. To retire under that provision, you’d have to have 20 years of covered service as an LEO and meet the age requirement. If you had made a deposit for your active-duty service, at retirement those years would be calculated under the standard formula.


About Author

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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