Military Service Credit for Federal Civilian Retirement
Years In Military Count For Government Retirement
If you have performed honorable active military service after December 31, 1956, and have now accepted a position within the federal government, your active duty time will count toward your federal retirement pension. As an example, if you attended a United States Service Academy for four years, graduated, and then served five years in the military honorably, those nine years will count toward your federal retirement, even though the four years at the service academy do not count toward time served if accepting a twenty year retirement for military service. For the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) purposes, crediting of post 1956 military service depends on the following:
Making Deposits Is Required
Federal Employment Before 1 Oct 82. Generally, if you were first employed in a position covered by CSRS before October 1, 1982, you may receive credit for your post 1956 military service if you retire from civilian service prior to age 62. However, if you do not make a military service deposit prior to separation from Federal employment, the military service will be eliminated from the computation of your CSRS annuity when you reach age 62, if you are entitled to Social Security benefits.
Federal Employment After 1 Oct 82. Generally, if you were first employed in a position covered by CSRS on or after October 1, 1982, you will not receive credit for post 1956 military service for any retirement purpose unless you make a military service deposit prior to separation from Federal employment.
The amount of the deposit is a sum equal to 7-percent (special category employees may pay a higher amount) of the military basic pay earned during the period of military service, plus interest.
For the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) purposes, crediting of post 1956 military service depends on the following:
Generally, if you were automatically covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) on January 1, 1987 or at any time thereafter, you must make the military service deposit prior to separation from Federal employment to receive credit for any retirement purpose. Military service is credited under FERS rules if it was performed after you became covered by FERS or you had less than 5 years of civilian service (other than CSRS Interim or Offset service) upon becoming covered by FERS.
The amount of the deposit is a sum equal to 3-percent (special category employees may pay a higher amount) of the military basic pay earned during the period of military service, plus interest.
If you receive military retired or retainer pay, you will not receive credit for any military service unless certain conditions are met or apply.
Making Deposits - Why You Should
Making a deposit for post 1956 military service allows you to receive permanent credit for military service under your Federal civilian retirement system, and the military service remains creditable for Social Security purposes. Making a deposit early helps to avoid the accrual of additional interest. The rate of interest charged on post 1956 deposits changes annually. This interest accrues and compounds annually on your Interest Accrual Date (IAD). Your first IAD is the date 1-year after the date the interest-free grace periods ends.
You will be given the option to make the deposit in one lump sum or through payroll deduction. All post-56 military service deposits must be made to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) before separation from Federal employment. Even if you don't plan to retire or leave Federal service soon, it is a very good idea to at least obtain the amount of your military earnings so that the deposit can be computed more easily. To process the deposit, we can use your actual military pay vouchers for complete periods of military service in computing the military deposit or you can obtain a certified estimate of your military earnings from the appropriate branch of service. The DLA Human Resources Center, Customer Support Offices (CSO) can provide instructions for obtaining the certified estimate.
Once you do complete the deposit, the DFAS payroll office will send you a receipt that indicates that your deposit was paid in full, the amount paid and the period of service the deposit covers. Once you receive the receipt you will need to forward a copy to the CSO office that services you and it will be filed in your Official Personnel Folder as a permanent record. The office needs this information from you in order to determine whether you can receive credit in your CSRS or FERS retirement benefit.
When an individual leaves Federal service or moves to another payroll office, their payroll records are closed out and sent onto the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). OPM will maintain these records until the individual applies for retirement, requests a refund or dies.
Procedures For Making Deposits
If you are within six months of retirement, you should submit your request to make the deposit when submitting your application for retirement. You should apply to make a payment by completing a Standard Form 3108) - Application to Make Service Credit/FERS. You will be notified of any amounts due so you can decide whether or not to make the payment. You will not be authorized regular retirement annuity payments until the process and deposit payment are complete.