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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

Ask your question here.

The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

Your question will be put into a message queue and submitted for review. We cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered, however any answered questions will appear below, and some will also be featured in our daily Federal Daily e-newsletter (Subscribe here). Members of Federal Soup will not be able to submit replies to the questions posted, as we leave the replies for the moderator only.

Please do not submit employee benefits questions to the webmaster or the forum moderator.

Note: FederalSoup.com has attempted to compile information that is as accurate and current as possible for federal employees. Federal policies, laws, regulations, statistics and addresses continually change. Therefore, no warranties are made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this column. If additional clarification or information is needed, it is suggested that competent and professional assistance be sought. Mr. Zurndorfer does not moderate other forums on FederalSoup and will not reply to general FederalSoup inquiries submitted in this Q&A forum.

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James Martinelli  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, January 30, 2013 3:27:02 AM(UTC)
James Martinelli

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/25/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1


I am a new hire to the federal government (14 January 2013) and I recently discovered that I'll be covered under FERS-RAE, with the 3.1% contribution rate.

The law says that employees with 5 years or potentially 5 years of credible service as of 31 December 2012 are exempt. I separated from the U.S. Air Force on 1 October 2012 after 5 years and 3 months of active duty time. Two questions:

1) Does my active duty time count as "potentially 5 years of credible service" and if so,

2) Do I have to buy back my military time before it would be considered 5 years of credible service? And would this place me back in the regular FERS program, rather than FERS-RAE?

Thank you for your time.

Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, January 30, 2013 8:30:11 AM(UTC)
Ed Zurndorfer

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/10/2001(UTC)
Posts: 4,412

Active duty military service does not count towards as "potential years of creditable service" for purpose of whether a FERS employee is covered by FERS-RAE. However, if you make a full deposit for your five years and three months of active duty Air Force service, then you will get credit for your military service for both FERS retirement eligibility and for FERS annuity computation purposes.
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