Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Creditable civilian service

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Q. I am 65 and have been working for federal government (FERS system) since June 7, 2010. I also bought back three years of military service during the first four months I was working for federal government. I have a service comp date of 6/14/2007.  I want to retire, but when I called the Army Benefits Center, they said that I needed five years of creditable civilian service and that the three years I bought back did not go toward the five-year creditable civilian service. The Office of Personnel Management and other areas state that Military buyback time goes toward creditable service towards FERS. Will my military buyback service of three years go toward the five-year requirement to receive immediate benefits?  

A. Your Army Benefits Center is correct. Your must have five years of actual FERS service to be vested in the retirement system and eligible to retire. For proof, go to http://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c041.pdf and scroll to Section 41B1.1-2B.

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