A Federal Times reader asks:

“I am a federal firefighter with 21 years of service. I was a Navy civilian and left to transfer as an Army civilian firefighter. I recently came back to the Navy as a firefighter and noticed that they have me classified as FERS-FRAE ‘MF.’

I didn’t think this was correct since my whole career, I’ve been FERS ‘M.’ I also have not had a break in service since 2006. Can you confirm that this is incorrect on their part?”

Reg’s response:

Because you were first hired as a firefighter between 1984 and 2012, you were classified as M. Because you returned after that period, your agency classified you as MF.

As an M, you would have had 1.3% deducted from you basic pay to cover your contribution to the retirement system. As a MF, it is now 4.9%.

You’ll have to check with your agency’s personnel office to find out if they have made the correct determination.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to: fedexperts@federaltimes.com

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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