Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Annuity eligibility

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Q. In 1979, I was a physician in training who was employed at two Veterans Affairs Department medical centers — one in California and one in Michigan. The period of employment was 49 months.

Now that I am approaching 60 years old, I am curious if I have accumulated any benefits from those years of employment. Are there any benefits, such as pension or other types that I should be aware of? If so, how can I learn more?

A. Even if you were employed by the federal government, which is unlikely, you would have had to work for five years full time to be vested in the retirement system and be entitled to any benefits.

Comments

  1. Andy Says:
    November 18th, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Resident physicians working for the VA may make a deposit to get credit for their time in the same manner as a military buy back. However, like a military buy back, the purchased years do not count toward your years of service for the purpose of retirement eligibility; you must have at least 5 years of credible FERS/CSRS service to receive credit for your residency years.