Q. I am looking at a job with the USPS. I have 10 years of active-duty service in the Air Force and three or four good years in the Reserve. I never reached 20 years to receive military retirement. How do these years in military service apply toward retirement and benefits if I get a job with the USPS? Do I have to buy back these years if I never received retirement, and how does that work? Then how long would I need the USPS job to gain retirement from the USPS?
A. If you worked for the federal government, you would only receive credit for you active-duty service if you made a deposit to the civilian retirement system. To be vested in the civilian retirement system and eligible for a retirement benefit, you’d have to have five years of full-time service. Any active-duty service for which you made a deposit would be added to that. To retire, you’d need one of the following age and service combinations: 62 and 5, 60 and 20, your minimum retirement age (MRA) and 30 or your MRA+10, but with a 5 percent reduction for every year you were younger than age 62.