Reading your SF-50 to determine your service and appointment type

Reading your SF-50 to determine your service and appointment type

Understanding the significance of your SF-50 is crucial in identifying your service and appointment category accurately. By reading this document attentively, you can ensure Unlock the insights within your SF-50 and make informed decisions about your professional journey.

How to find your SF-50 for current federal employees

To find your SF-50 as a current federal employee, follow these steps:
Log in to the Employee Personal Page (EPP) or Employee Express (if applicable) using your employee identification number and password.
Navigate to the “My Pay” or “Payroll” section.
Look for the option or tab related to “Pay and Leave Statements” or “Pay and Benefits.”
Within that section, search for the option to view or download your SF-50 form.
Click on the SF-50 link to access your electronic copy.
Save or print the SF-50 document for your records or future reference.
Note: If you are still looking for your SF-50 through the employee self-service portals mentioned above, you can contact your agency’s Human Resources or Personnel Office to obtain a copy.

How to find your SF-50 for former federal employees

To find your SF-50 as a former federal employee, you can follow these steps:
Access the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) website at
Navigate to the “Access to Official Personnel Folders (OPF)” section.
Review the instructions and requirements for requesting your SF-50.
Download and complete Form SF-180, “Request Pertaining to Military Records” (also used for requesting SF-50 documents).
Submit the completed SF-180 form via mail or fax to the NPRC, following the instructions provided on the form.
Wait for the NPRC to process your request. It may take several weeks to receive a response.
Once processed, the NPRC will provide you with a copy of your SF-50 or further instructions.
Note: The NPRC handles requests for SF-50 documents of former federal employees, including those who have retired or separated from national service. Remember that a fee may be associated with the request, and providing as much information as possible is advisable to help expedite the process.

How to read your SF-50Your appointment type Tenure – Block 24

To read your SF-50 and determine your appointment type and tenure (Block 24), follow these steps:

  • Obtain a copy of your SF-50 form electronically or in paper format.
  • Locate Block 24 on the SF-50 document.
  • In Block 24, you will find information related to your appointment type and tenure.
  • Look for specific codes or abbreviations that indicate your appointment type, such as “Perm” for permanent, “Temp” for temporary, “Term” for term appointment, or “Int” for intermittent appointment.
  • For tenure, the most common codes are “1” for Career, “2” for Career-Conditional, or “3” for Excepted Service.
  • Refer to the instructions or key in the SF-50 document to interpret any additional codes or abbreviations specific to your agency or organization.
  • By analyzing the information in Block 24, you can determine your appointment type and tenure as indicated in your SF-50.
    Note: If you encounter any difficulties or require further clarification, it’s recommended to contact your agency’s Human Resources or Personnel Office for assistance. They can provide additional guidance and explanations related to your specific SF-50 form.


Exceptions to the usual process of reading the SF-50 and determining appointment type, tenure, service type, and position occupied can occur in certain situations. Some exceptions may include:
Complex or customized coding:

In some cases, agencies may use unique coding systems or abbreviations that require additional interpretation or guidance specific to their organization.
Particular appointment types:

Certain appointment types, such as Veterans’ Preference or Schedule A appointments, may have specific coding or documentation requirements that differ from the standard appointment types.
Agency-specific policies:

Different agencies may have policies and procedures for recording and displaying information on the SF-50 form. It is essential to consult agency-specific instructions or contact the agency’s HR or Personnel Office for accurate interpretation.
Unusual circumstances:

Uncommon situations, such as reassignments, reclassifications, or details to other agencies, may result in unique coding or annotations on the SF-50 that require further explanation.
In such cases, it is advisable to consult with your agency’s HR or Personnel Office to obtain accurate and specific information regarding any exceptions or variations in reading and interpreting the SF-50 form. They can provide guidance and clarification based on their agency’s specific practices and policies.


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