If you are a federal employee planning to retire this year, this article is one of the best sources for you while doing your creditable service check. We want to mention that your creditable service should not only be checked while working for the federal government but also for employment that people tend to forget about—this includes part-time or temporary work while you were a student.
There are many more types of creditable service than what you think of. For example, creditable service includes working with the Peace Corps and Vista, the job as a guide of a United States capitol, working as a substitute postal employee, and many more.
The first thing you need to do is write down every job that you ever did in your career that has any connection to the government. Then tick or cross creditable services. You can get complete information about creditable service at 5 U.S. Code 8332 (readily available online).
This law is useful because its section of the law includes several pages that help you get information on different types of jobs that are eligible for credit inclusion in calculating your service period and are used in your annuity computation.
The next step should be to check your Official Personnel Folder to recheck if it contains all documents of your services.
You may find that some of those services were creditable only for a specific period, and some aren’t.
You may have to contact your personnel office to find if your service comes under creditable service or not. If you took no retirement deductions from your pay, you might be asked to deposit to the Civil Service Disability and Retirement Fund to get some credit.
Everything depends on when you performed your service and the type of retirement system. You will get credit for the time in determining your service duration, but it will not be used at the time of your annuity computation unless you have made any deposit.
There are creditable services covered by other federal retirement systems like TVA or the Foreign Service, provided you aren’t receiving any federal retirement benefits.
To get credit for your services in this case, you need to refund your contributions and deposit them with interest under the civil service retirement fund.
Don’t do that until you are mentally and financially prepared to walk out the door. Retiring without a credit check will only give you credit for some service and delay your first annuity payment until your work history is sorted out.