Q. I have been a federal employee since 1993 with the Veterans Affairs Department. Since 9/11, I have had five years of being called on orders to support operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and contingency operations. While I was on leave without pay during these five years, do I still get retirement credit? Meaning it is like I never left federal service. (My retirement year would be 2023 with 30 years.) Also, can I buy these five years of war time credit toward my retirement, so in 2023 I will have a total of 35 years of service credit?
A. To get credit for those periods of active-duty service, you’ll have to make a deposit to the retirement system. If you don’t, you won’t get any retirement credit for that time in determining your length of service or have it used in your annuity computation.