Creditable service


Q. I am a civilian employee, GS-0132, with the Defense Department. I served 8½ years with the Department of Justice and Department of the Interior as a GS-1811. I am trying to find out whether those years served will count as 1½ years each toward my retirement (making 12¼ years vs. 8½ years in the calculation). Do you know of a regulation/policy speaking to this issue? My human resources office is unable to provide a definitive answer, other than to say “I think that only applies if you serve the full 20 years as an 1811, but I’m not sure.”

A. A year equals 12 months, 26 pay periods or 52 weeks of employment. No extra service credit is given for being employed in a law enforcement officer, firefighter or air traffic controller position. When you do retire, your annuity will be calculated under the standard formula, not the more generous one provided to special category employees who complete 20 years of 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

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