Active-duty time and FERS vesting


Q. I understand one needs five years of creditable government employment to be eligible for annuities under the FERS program. I have about 9½ years of active-duty time. My service computation date is Nov. 28, 2001. I have been a GS employee now only since April 20, 2011. I have completed my “buy-in” to the FERS program for my active-duty time. Must I complete a full five years of GS time to be fully vested?

A. You have to have five years of actual FERS service to be vested. Periods of active-duty service for which you’ve made a deposit don’t count toward the vesting requirement.


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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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