Federal Employees News Digest

Federal Benefits Q&A

Question: “I had 10 years of active Army service before a medical discharge. Then I worked as a GS-5 for DOD as a FERS employee for 2 ½ years. During that time, I paid $1,600 toward military conversion to FERS. However, due to a RIF, my office closed in 2006. HR told me to leave the money there in order to receive a retirement, whether I worked another day in civil service or not. In December 2015, I was hired by the IRS as a seasonal customer service representative for six months. Now, at 61 years of age, I am looking to retire. Do I still have a retirement benefit annuity at 62?”

Answer: From what you summarized, although you have over five years of total federal service (when you count the 10 years of military service you "bought back"), you do not have at least five years of civilian service. That being said, at age 62 you will not be eligible for a deferred retirement. Assuming at this time you only have three years of civilian service, you would have to return to federal service and work a minimum of two years in order to retire from federal service (with a total of 15 years of service) with an immediate annuity.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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