Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems

If you have served in the military and coming into the Foreign Service, here is a March 9, 2009 Congressional Research Service report that you might want to read. If you have further questions, do please check with your HRO. You may also check with the Military Officers Association of America or AFSA’s Retiree Activities Coordinator. Note the 2 year limitation below.

Federal employees with permanent appointments earn pension benefits under one of two retirement plans. Employees hired after 1983 participate in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). Employees hired before 1984 participate in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) unless they elected to transfer to the FERS during open seasons held in 1987 and 1998.

When Congress established the CSRS in 1920, it allowed veterans who subsequently became civilian federal employees to count their years of active-duty military service toward retirement eligibility and pension benefits under CSRS. The statutes that allow military service to be credited toward a civil service pension have been amended several times over the years, mainly to coordinate civil service retirement benefits with benefits earned under Social Security.

Veterans of active-duty military service hired into civilian federal employment after September 30, 1982, receive civil service retirement credit for post-1956 military service only if they make a deposit to the CSRDF. For employees enrolled in CSRS, the required deposit is 7.0% of the total amount of basic pay received while on active duty in the military. For employees enrolled in FERS, the required deposit is 3.0% percent of their total basic military pay. If the employee makes the deposit within two years of being hired into civilian federal employment, no interest is charged.

AFSA notes that the maximum monthly amount of your benefit may be reduced because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).
Check out the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Check out the AFSA page here.

Read the long summary here.

Read the whole thing here (pdf).