Helping Federal Employees and Annuitants Understand Their Benefits

 

Creditable Service

FERS & CSRS Service Retirement Credits



Newsletter Sign Up

Retirement Assistance

Now Available

Take Charge of Your Federal Career - 2nd Edition

ORDER ONLINE

Also available at bookstores

Job Search

Retired?
Job Options

Search Millions of Jobs
What
Where
Jobs by undefined

Updated 3/29/2017

 

Retirement eligibility can be confusing with military service. You need a minimum of 5 years of civilian service to be eligible for a civilian retirement annuity.  However, after the 5 years is met, the military service is creditable towards years of service for all the other voluntary retirement eligibility requirements: MRA +10; MRA +30; 60 years old with 20 years of service; and even the VERA requirements - age 50 with 20 years of service or any age with 25 years of service. Review all eligibility requirements for FERS and CSRS retirement.

Horizonal bar

Creditable Service Menu

 

FERS Creditable Service

 

  • Federal “covered service”, that is, service in which the individual’s pay is subject to FERS retirement deductions, such as service under a career or career conditional appointment,
  • Federal service performed before 1989, where an employee’s pay was not subject to retirement deductions, such as, service under a temporary appointment, as long as a deposit is paid. There are a few exceptions to the rule that the service must have been performed before 1989, in order to be eligible to pay a deposit. The only exceptions are:
    • U.S. Senate Child Care Center service
    • Peace Corps/VISTA service
    • Service under the Foreign Service Pension System (FSPS)
    • Service performed before 12/31/90 with the Democratic or Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee or the Democratic or Republican National Congressional Committee, and
    • Service with the Library of Congress Child Development Center prior to 12/21/00.

Deposit FERS

A deposit is the payment of the retirement deductions, plus interest, that would have been withheld from your pay if you had been covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) during a period of employment when retirement deductions were not withheld from your salary. You are not required to make this type of payment.

  • Making Payment to Get Credit for Service
    • You should apply to make a payment by completing a Standard Form 3108 Application to Make Service Credit Payment/FERS). You should use this form even if a portion of your FERS annuity will be computed under CSRS rules.
    • Send your completed application to your department or agency because they must certify it. If you are within six months of retirement submit your request to make the deposit or redeposit at the same time you submit your application for retirement. OPM will notify you of any amounts due so you can decide whether or not to make the payment. OPM cannot, however, authorize your regular annuity payments until we have your decision about the payment.
    • If you are not currently a Federal employee send your completed application directly to: OPM Retirement Operations Center Deposit Section P.O. Box 45 Boyers, PA 16017-0045

If You Received a Refund of Your FERS Retirement Deductions

You can repay any refund you received for any period of civilian service during which retirement deductions were withheld from your pay and later returned to you. Interest is charged from the date of the refund and compounded annually. Interest is charged to the date full payment is made or the date annuity begins, whichever is earlier. If you do not repay (redeposit) your prior refunded service, you will not receive credit in determining your eligibility to retire or in computing your retirement benefit.

Redeposit FERS: A redeposit is the repayment of retirement deductions that were previously withheld and refunded to you, plus interest.

References: OPM FERS Deposit Guidance

 

CSRS Civilian Creditable Service Usually Includes:

 

  • Federal "covered service", that is, service in which the individual's pay is subject to CSRS retirement deductions, such as service under a career or career conditional appointment,
  • Federal service where an employee's pay is not subject to retirement deductions, such as, service under a temporary appointment,
  • Service for which a specific statue allows credit or allows credit for the service, such as:
    • Peace Corps enrollment
    • Certain pre-1969 National Guard technician service
  • Service for which a specific statute allows an individual to be subject to CSRS deductions during his/her employment with a specified entity or under a specific program or type of appointment, such as:
    • Employees of Gallaudet University or D.C. Government, 
    • Federal employees who receive assignments under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, or employees serving as full-time officers or employees of an employee organization.

If Retirement Deductions Were Not Withheld During Service

Creditable service is not limited to service covered by retirement deductions.  It can also include service where an employee's pay is not subject to retirement deductions.  In some cases, you must pay back the retirement deductions (plus interest) to credit this service in the computation of your benefit.  This repayment amount is called a deposit.  If the service was performed before 10/1/82, you do not have to pay back the deductions. Your annuity will be subject to a reduction based on the amount of the unpaid retirement deductions, if you do not pay the deposit.

Deposit CSRS

A deposit is the payment of the retirement deductions, plus interest, that would have been withheld from your pay if you had been covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) during a period of employment when retirement deductions were not withheld from your salary.  You are not required to make this type of payment.

  • Making Payment to Get Credit for Service
    • You should apply to make a deposit or redeposit payment by completing a Standard Form 2803 "Application to Make Deposit or Redeposit/CSRS".
    • If you are a Federal employee send your completed application to your department or agency because they must certify it.  Please do not file an application if you plan to retire within six months. OPM will give you an opportunity to make payment when it computes our annuity.
      • If you are within six months of retirement- submit your request to make the deposit or redeposit at the same time you submit your application for retirement.  We will notify you of any amounts due so you can decide whether or not to make the payment.  We cannot, however, authorize your regular annuity payments until we have your decision about the payment.
    • If you are not currently a Federal employee send your completed application directly to: OPM Retirement Operations Center Deposit Section P.O. Box 45 Boyers, PA 16017-0045

If you Received a Refund of Your CSRS Retirement Deductions

If you received a refund for service that ended on or after October 1, 1990, the service covered by the refund cannot be included in computing your annuity, unless the refund is repaid after you become reemployed.  This repayment is called a redeposit.  

It will still be used toward the service used to qualify for retirement.  If you received a refund for service that ended before October 1, 1990, and did not repay the refund, the service will still be credited when you retire, however, it will cause an actuarial reduction in your annuity.  The reduction is based on the amount of the redeposit and your age at the time of retirement.  This exception to the redeposit requirement does not apply if you retire for disability.

Redeposit

 

A redeposit is the repayment of retirement deductions that were previously withheld and refunded to you, plus interest. You are not required to make this type of payment.

Redeposit Service Ending before October 1, 1990 and Covered by CSRS:  

You can repay the refund you received for periods of civilian service ending before October 1, 1990 during which retirement deductions were withheld from your pay and later refunded to you.  However, you will receive credit for all of this service whether or not you make the payment (unless you retire under the disability provisions of the law).  Your annuity will be subject to a permanent actuarial reduction based on the amount of redeposit and interest due and your age at retirement.  The actuarial reduction will not be applied to any annuity due your surviving spouse. You can avoid the reduction by repaying the refund.

If the refund was paid before October 1, 1982, interest is charged up through the billing date.  If full payment is received within 30 days after the bill is issued, no additional interest will be charged.  Otherwise, interest will be computed after each payment at the rate of 3 percent for the interval since the most recent payment.

If the refund was paid on or after October 1, 1982, interest is compounded annually and charged through December 31 of the year before the year in which this bill is being issued.  If full payment is received by December 31 of the year in which this bill is issued, no additional interest will be charged.   If not, interest will be computed once each year as of December 31 based on the unpaid balance at that time. Interest is applied at the rates described in the table.

References: OPM CSRS Guidance

 

Return to Top of Page
Go to Home page