Q: I’m asking this on behalf of my father. He is 66 years old and is not currently receiving any form of federal or civil service annuity, although I suspect be may be eligible for one. He served for four years in the active military (1962-1966) and nine years in the national guard (1967-76). He was a civil service employee for 21 years as well (1967-1988). He left his civil service job to take care of his ailing parents and never returned to a government job. He has never thought to investigate if he is eligible for some sort of retirement annuity. Is it possible for him to make a payment to combine his military and civil service? Is he eligible for anything?
A: If he left his retirement contributions in the fund when he left government, he would already be eligible for a Civil Service Retirement System annuity based on his civilian employment with the federal government. He could only make a deposit for his period of active duty service (but not his National Guard service) if he returned to work for the government. On the other hand, if he did receive a refund, he wouldn’t be eligible for an annuity unless he returned to work for the government and redeposited the amount he received, plus accrued interest.
Assuming that he didn’t receive a refund, to apply for a retirement annuity, he’ll have to fill out a copy of Standard Form 2801, Application for Immediate Retirement, and send it to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Services and Management Group, P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017-0045. He can download a copy at www.opm.gov, click on Find Form(s).
Note: If he does receive an annuity, he may be affected by the windfall elimination provision, which reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone received an annuity from a retirement system, such as CSRS, where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes and has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.