Military service credit


Q: I am considering a short-term FERS GS position and want to know about retirement eligibility. I have four years as a cadet at West Point (1966-1970), and this time was not part of my military retired pay (26 years of Army service). I know cadet time is allowable toward a FERS retirement, but I also know that there is a five-year minimum service requirement to be vested in FERS. Can I use the cadet time (I buy it back) toward the five-year minimum service requirement so that I only have to work one year to reach retirement eligibility?

A: No, you cannot. You have to have five years of actual service as a FERS employee to be vested in the retirement system.


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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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