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Military Reserve Service and CSRS Retirement Calculations

Does time spent in the military reserve count toward your CSRS retirement calculations? A court has just answered the question.

In case there was any doubt in anyone’s mind about whether service in the U.S. military reserve should be counted toward CSRS retirement calculations, the issue has just been addressed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Prociuk v. Office of Personnel Management (No. 05-3126, September 15, 2005), the Court rejected a former employee’s claim that four years should be added to the computation of his length of service–the number of years he served in the Air Force reserve.

The employee received credit from the Office of Personnel Management for four years of active duty service, but wanted more. He argued that the Universal Military Training and Service Act (“UMTSA”) required him to serve in the reserves after completing his active duty and therefore that law requires that his reserve service be treated the same as active duty service. Not so said the court, upholding the MSPB and OPM.

The court points out the clear provision of the law governing credit for military service, which is defined in 5 U.S.C. § 8331(13). The definition does not include service in the reserves.

About the Author

Susan McGuire Smith spent most of her federal legal career with NASA, serving as Chief Counsel at Marshall Space Flight Center for 14 years. Her expertise is in government contracts, ethics, and personnel law.