Retirement and temporary service


Q: I am a FERS employee, and am planning to retire at minimum age (56) with 30 years. Now I am finding out that I will be eight months short of having the 30 years, because three years of my employment was temporary service, back in the early 80s. Is it possible for me to only buy back one of those three temp years or do I have to buy all or nothing?

A: Depending on when that service was performed, it may not be possible. However, if it is — and you’ll have to check with your personnel office to find that out — you would have to make a deposit for the entire period of service. So, if you worked continuously for three years, you’d have to make a deposit that covered all three. On the other hand, if those three years were broken into discrete periods of employment, you could make a deposit for the one or ones you want.


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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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