Military service and federal service pension


Q. I’m a FERS employee. I’d like assistance in computing how much federal service I have so I can determine how much more I need to qualify for a federal service pension.

I have about nine years in the U.S. Army, as well as about five years in the U.S. Naval Reserve. My understanding is that both periods of service count toward federal service for pension purposes — but I need the totals so I can use that for a basis for moving forward.

Which agency should I contact, and how should I make sure all of the federal service pension requirements can be met?

A. Your understanding is wrong. Only active-duty service is creditable for retirement purposes, and then only if you make a deposit to get that credit. To find out exactly how much active-duty service you have and how much you’d have to pay to get credit for it, complete Form RI 20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to the finance office for your branch of service, along with a copy of your DD Form 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge. When you get an answer, take it to your payroll office, along with a copy of your DD 214 and a Standard Form 3108. They’ll figure out what you owe, after which you can decide what to do. Note: The RI and Standard Form are at; click on Find Form(s).


About Author

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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