Q: Can we break down exactly what “creditable civilian service” means?
A: There are two systems of Creditable civilian service, which is a service that counts towards your eligibility to retire under either the CSRS or FERS retirement. There are small variations within these definitions of the two systems so that both versions will be listed and defined here.
Within CSRS retirement, creditable service is service where you will be covered by the CSRS retirement system (e.g., a career or career-conditional appointment). Once CSRS covers someone, non-creditable service may become creditable (e.g., temporary assistance). Temporary service that took place after September 30, 1982, will not be given credit. However, if a deposit is made to the retirement fund to cover that time (for instance: the temporary time took place before or on that date, it is creditable even if a deposit has not been made). Credit is given for retirement eligibility for re-deposit service (service for which you withdrew your retirement contributions), whether or not the re-deposit is made.
Within FERS retirement, creditable service is service where an individual is covered by the FERS retirement system (such as a career or career-conditional appointment). The credit would not be given for temporary service unless there was a deposit made to the retirement fund to cover that time. Deposits may only be made for temporary service that took place before January 1, 1989, with the Peace Corps or VISTA service being the exception. Credit will be given for retirement eligibility for re-deposit service (i.e., service for which you withdrew your retirement contributions), even if the deposit has not been made…