Retirement eligibility


Q. I am a civilian federal firefighter. I bought back four years and one month of active-duty military time (also as a firefighter) into FERS. I will have 25 years total (four military and 21 civilian) when I am 48 years old.

Can I retire at that time since firefighters can retire at 25 years of service at any age, even though only 21 of those years are as a civilian firefighter? My active-duty time was as a firefighter also, USAF 3E751.

A. No. You have to have 25 years of actual civilian firefighter employment to retire at any age. Active-duty service for which you’ve made a deposit doesn’t count.


About Author

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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