Length of service


Q. I have 10 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and I paid my military deposit (14 years, nine months and 18 days), so my total time is 24 years and nine months. I’m leaving to return to school full time. If I come back after three to five years, I’ve been told I would be starting over, i.e., all that time is gone because of the break in service. Is that true?

A. No, it isn’t true. As long as you don’t ask for a refund of your retirement contributions and military deposit, you would get full credit for all that time when you return to work for the federal government.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Be sure to keep ALL documentation regarding your time in service, payment for military time and SF 50, as the government has lost one or two of these and not given back sick leave etc to those who return to Federal Service.

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