Returning to service


Q: I worked for the Navy as a GS-11 for five years but left in 1991. I have an SF-50 that says “completed service requirement for Career Tenure from 07-17-88 to 07-17-91.” However, I actually started with the Navy on Aug. 28, 1986 and my resignation papers have an effective date of Sept. 24, 1991. I’m hoping to return to federal service but want to know if I am eligible for any future retirement benefits.

A: If you completed at least five years of creditable service and didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions in the retirement fund when you left, you’d be eligible for a deferred annuity when you reach age 62.


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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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