What Does ‘Creditable Civilian Service’ Mean?

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By on July 10, 2018 in Q&A, Retirement with 0 Comments

Compass with the arrow pointing towards the word 'retirement'

Q: In many FedSmith articles on retirement I see the phrase “creditable civilian service”; what exactly does that mean?

A: Creditable civilian service is service that counts towards your eligibility to retire under the CSRS or FERS retirement systems. The definitions are slightly different between the two systems, so I have listed both definitions. These definitions were taken from my book The Answer Book on Your Federal Employee Benefits, published by LRP.

For CSRS, creditable service is service where you are covered by the CSRS retirement system (e.g., a career or career conditional appointment). Once an individual is covered by CSRS, non-creditable service can become creditable (e.g., temporary service). No credit is given for temporary service that took place after 09/30/1982 unless a deposit is made to the retirement fund to cover that time (if the temporary time took place on or before that date it is creditable whether or not a deposit has been made). Credit is given for retirement eligibility for re-deposit service (i.e., service for which you withdrew your retirement contributions), whether or not the re-deposit is made.

For FERS, creditable service is service where you are covered by the FERS retirement system (e.g., a career or career conditional appointment). No credit is given for temporary service unless a deposit is made to the retirement fund to cover that time. Deposits can only be made for temporary service that occurred before 01/01/1989, with the exception of Peace Corps or VISTA service. Credit is given for retirement eligibility for re-deposit service (i.e., service for which you withdrew your retirement contributions), whether or not the re-deposit is made.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at [email protected] to discuss schedules and costs.

© 2018 John Grobe. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from John Grobe.

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.

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