Service credit


Q. I’m a FERS employee. Before I got a career position, I was in a temporary appointment for a year. I’ve been told that I could buy back my temp time by making a deposit to the retirement system. Is that true?

A. Unfortunately, no. Under FERS, periods of non-deduction service performed on or after Jan. 1, 1989, aren’t creditable for either length of service or annuity computation purposes.


About Author

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


  1. My SF-2803 (Application to Make Deposit) and SF-2801-1 (Certified Summary of Federal Service) was prepared and approves by my agency. Do they forward it to OPM even the Deposit wasn’t paid yet. Because I change my mind, I will not ask my agency to credit my non-citizen base worker employment. Is it possible? Thanks

    • The fact that you haven’t made a deposit – and don’t intend to do that – nullifies the application you made. When you let your personnel office know of your decision, they’ll retrieve and cancel the paperwork.

      • Sir, I prefer not to pay deposits to exempt from Windfall Elimination Provision. If these services were nullifies. Am I gonna be back to FERS? I’m currently CSRS Offset.

        • The windfall elimination provision applies solely to CSRS or CSRS Offset employees who have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. You can’t make a deposit to get credit to exempt yourself from the WEP. You’ll continue to be covered by CSRS Offset regardless of whether you earn enough Social Security credits to be exempt from the WEP or you don’t.

  2. The answer to the original poster’s question should have been “If your temporary service was performed before 1989, it is possible you could buy that time.” I could have written that post (with the change to two months temporary appointment). My temporary position was in 1976, so it qualified. I bought back that time in 2015, almost 40 years later. I don’t see any reference in the original question as to when the service was performed, so it’s possible it was before 1989.

  3. Pam Stanberry on


    I am a reservist. I bought back my active duty military time in 2006 which changed my SCD to April 2005. This year 2020 I bought back my recent active military time. Will my SCD change again to reflect the recent buyback?

    Thank you,
    Pamela Stanberry


    I am a army veteran I bought my active duty time back, and I want it to know if I could buy back my reserve time witch is 11 years thank you

  5. I have several months of non career work with the USPS that was performed in 1985. What is the interest rate on the by back and how is it factored? Thank you.

    • To find out how much you would owe, including accrued interest, you’ll need to fill out a CSRS Standard Form 2803 (Application to Make Deposit or Redeposit) or FERS Standard Form 3108 (Application to Make Service Credit Deposit) and send it to OPM. The address is on the form.

  6. I am a postal employee who was out on OWCP for 9 years for accepted permanent partial on the job injury as well as accepted disabilty retirement in which i elected owcp , i was then offered a 8hr limited duty position which i accepted but there is only 2hrs a day of work within my medical restrictions and put in lwop status for remainder of day which owcp pays. when i reach 57 in 2026 and want to retire will i be credited for all the time on OWCP ? I read somewhere i need to return for 5 years full service but im only working 2 hrs a day, will that effect my credited time for calculating my annuity at 57 ? i started working for postal service in 1991 ?
    what happens with all the money i lost from not being able to contribute to ss and thrift savings ?

  7. With covid I am leaving teaching in NJ I have 8 yr in the teachers pension annuity fund of nj, I have 8 months in the fire police retirement system I have not purchased while in the nj tpaf. Can I work for the USPS as city carrier, combine all 3? Or transfer usps back to NJ tpaf? Or pers?

    • If the Postal Service will hire you and you work long enough and reach the right age, you would be entitled to an federal annuity. Since we are only qualified to answer questions about federal benefits, we don’t know if you would be entitled to any state and local benefits.

      • So there isn’t a buy back for state retirement systems? Only military? I was misinformed? I know after 3 yr nj makes you take back your pension contribution. No interest! After 9 yr accrued?

        • If you are asking if you can make a deposit to get credit for state and and local service in a federal annuity, the answer is no.

  8. My birthday is October 29. Can I retire on October 3 which will also include October on the computation of my annuity and length of service? Thanks

    • As long as you have the right combination of age and service to retire, you can leave on any day of the month you want to. However, it would make better financial sense to retire at end of a pay period so you’ll get credit for all the annual and sick leave you earned during those last two weeks.

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