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Using Your Military Time Toward Civilian Retirement
What is Catch 62?
Catch 62 is a program that allows veterans who become civil servants to count their time in the military toward their civilian retirement benefits. Veterans under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) who want their time in the military to count towards their civilian retirement benefits must make a deposit to the CSR fund in an amount of 7% of the amount of money they earned in the military, interest free for the first two years, interest will be added if it is not paid within the two years. However veterans hired under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) must make deposits worth 3% of their military earnings and for the first 3 years those payments are interest free. They must pay the deposits plus interest for all years after that.
Veterans who are hired after Oct. 1, 1982 must make the deposit or receive no credit for their military service in their pensions.
Veterans who are hired before Oct. 1, 1982 have two options:1. They can make the required deposit and get full credit for their military service in their civilian pensions.
2. Not make the deposits and receive full credit for their military service until they hit age 62, when they become eligible for Social Security benefits. At that time the military portion of their retirement credit is taken away, and their pensions are cut.
For more information Many veterans are unaware of the Catch 62 program and find out that their pension is being cut by as much as a $1,000 a month when they turn 62. Veterans who do learn about it afterwards have the option to appeal to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and at that point they have the option to let the veteran make a deposit if an administrative error occurred. For more information on Catch 62, visit www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C023.pdf