Creditable service: State vs. federal


Q. I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for four years then took a job with the state of Wisconsin. At that time, I had to leave my retirement in the federal system and as far as I know, it is still there. Or is it?

I’m interested in using those years to add to my retirement with Wisconsin. Would that transfer to the state without my having to buy them, or do I still have to buy those years back even though I never took them out?

A. If you didn’t withdraw your retirement contributions when you left, they’d still be in the retirement fund, and you could request a refund of that money. While it’s unlikely that the state of Wisconsin would give you any credit for your federal service, that decision is up to them.


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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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