Active-duty, reserve time toward retirement


Q: I have eight years of active-duty service and 10 years with the reserves. What part of that time counts toward the Federal Employees Retirement System? I was also recalled to active duty for an eight-month period and want to know whether I can add all this time.

A: Your active-duty service in the armed forces will only count if you make a deposit to the civilian retirement fund. You have already received credit for any two-week periods of annual active duty for training, which for leave purposes have been treated as if you were still on the job. Reserve time, other than when called to active duty, isn’t creditable for any purpose.


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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. Really just a clarification….Just getting my paperwork finalized to retire as FERS from federal government agency on 12/31/2019. I have paid back deposits for all active duty periods I served as a reservist but paid back no deposits for weekend drill time nor any annual training time. I assume I am correct in not submitting those periods and should be “good to go” at the end of the year.

    Looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

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