Expert's View

There are times when a communication from OPM is clear enough that it doesn’t require a translation to be understood. This one about the rules covering redeposits by current FERS employees who had earlier left government and withdrawn their retirement contributions came in an e-mail. It will soon appear in a Benefits Administration Letter addressed to all departments and agencies.

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The rules carry out a policy change that was effective in October 2009, allowing FERS employees to recapture service credit in this way. Previously, only CSRS-covered persons could do so.

For your convenience, I’ll quote it in full:

* Provisions of section 1904 of the NDAA only apply to employees covered under FERS on or after October 28, 2009, and only affect the annuity benefits based on a separation from FERS coverage on or after October 28, 2009.

* Employees covered by FERS on or after October 28, 2009, may repay (or redeposit) any FERS deductions previously refunded to them. They may also redeposit any CSRS deductions previously refunded to them that covered CSRS service that is credited under FERS rules.

* Payment of the FERS redeposit for FERS service covered by a refund of FERS deductions and CSRS service (that is credited under FERS rules) covered by a refund of CSRS deductions allows the refunded service to be creditable for determining an employee’s retirement eligibility and for computing the amount of the employee’s annuity.

* Payment not made of the FERS redeposit for FERS service covered by a refund of FERS deductions and CSRS service (that is credited under FERS rules) covered by refund of CSRS deductions only allows the refunded service to be creditable for determining an employee’s retirement eligibility but is not creditable for computing the amount of an employee’s annuity.

* Employees wanting to make a FERS redeposit may complete the current FERS Application to Make a Deposit, SF 3108. Employees must indicate on the application that the period of service was refunded and send the completed application through their agency for certification.

* Employees wanting to make a FERS redeposit for refunded service and a FERS deposit for non-covered service will be assigned two service credit account numbers and will receive two separate statements based on each service credit account calculation. (The two accounts will be set up based on one application – two applications are not necessary.) Payments must be submitted for each account separately.

FYI, you can get a copy of that SF 3108 from your personnel office or download a copy at www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF3108.pdf.