The following is a question submitted by a reader to Federal Times columnist Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and the resident expert on federal employee retirement issues.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“I was hired into full-time federal service in 2011 and worked until 2022 under the FERS retirement contribution system (contributing 0.8% of my pay toward my FERS pension).

If I return to federal service, would I still qualify to pay into the FERS system with a 0.8% contribution or would I pay in at a higher rate?

With 10 years of service, I meet the five-year service threshold, but I’m not sure if I had to have accrued five years of service before the contribution rates were raised in 2013/2014 (meaning I would have had to start by 2008/2009) or just at least five years of service under FERS prior to separation.”

Reg’s response:

Because you had at least five years of creditable service under FERS, if you return to work for the government you will only be required to contribute .08% of your salary to the retirement system.

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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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