Which calculation to use


Q: I re-entered federal service in 2004 having a short amount of temp time before that. Back then, the retirement system I was placed in was the CSRS offset. During that time, I also paid in for military service at the CSRS rate then in place. Beginning in 2007, as I did not have five years in the offset system, I was automatically converted to FERS. I have requested clarification as to whether the 2004-2007 time frame, I will receive a separate CSRS component to my retirement or whether it will all be under the FERS calculation. In addition, will the military component be calculated using the CSRS rate applicable when I paid in or the FERS rate?

A: Because you had fewer than five years of creditable service when you re-entered the federal service, you should have automatically been placed in FERS. Now that you have, all your time, civilian and military alike, will be FERS service. As a result, you are due a refund of the excess amount you paid to get credit for your active-duty service.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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