Adding Federal Service to State Retirement System

Can a former federal employee add federal service time to a state employment system?

Q: I worked for the Federal Government from 1975 thru 1981. When I left I drew out my retirement money to move out of state. I know that money is gone now but is there a way to get the service time of 6 years back? I now work for the State of California and want to add to my service time so I can retire.

A: I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad new but I don’t believe you’ll be able to get that federal service credited toward your state employment.  With regard to the federal service alone, you are not eligible to make a redeposit payment to the federal retirement system to regain that credit.  Only a current federal employee or a former employee with entitlement to an annuity can do that, and you are neither.

I suppose it’s possible that the State of California would allow you to make a payment that reflects your federal service directly to the state retirement program — but you would need to direct that inquiry to a state HR office.  Good luck!

About the Author

Ehren Clovis retired from federal service after a career as a Benefits Specialist. She dealt with the employees of many federal agencies, and acquired broad knowledge and experience with federal benefits, including the special retirement provisions for federal Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs). Now she presents retirement and benefits training for federal employees through Federal Career Experts, Inc., and counsels individual clients through her home business, Federal Benefits On Call.