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

If you don't know which service you're in or your appointment type, you can refer to your SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action).

How to find your SF-50 for current federal employees

Many agencies use OPM's electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) tool, which is an online system for managing personnel documents.

For example, you can find OPM's eOPF at, and you can find the Social Security Administration's eOPF at You can usually only access the eOPF tool from your agency's internal network.

Not all agencies use the eOPF tool. Ask your Human Resources department if you're not sure where to find your SF-50.

How to find your SF-50 for former federal employees

If you recently left your federal job, contact your former agency personnel office. If it's been more than 30 days since you left, you need to contact the Federal Records Center, The FRC is the depository for official personnel folders of former federal service employees.

Send your request to:

National Archives and Records Administration
Civilian Personnel Records
1411 Boulder Boulevard
Valmeyer, IL 62295
(314) 801-9250

Include the following in your request:

  • Full name (the one you used during your federal employment)
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • A list of all federal agencies where you an employee, with addresses, and dates of your employment (to the extent known)

The Privacy Act of 1974 [5 USC 552a] and the Office of Personnel Management require a signed and dated written request for information from the Federal Records Center. They will NOT accept requests for information from personnel, or any other type of records, by telephone or e-mail.

How to read your SF-50

Your appointment type

Tenure - Block 24

On your SF-50, look for Block 24 named "Tenure". You may see a 0, 1, 2, 3 or asterisk.

Ask your Human Resources department for more information if you're unsure about what's in your Tenure block.

Your service type

Position occupied - Block 34

Look at Block 34 named "Position occupied". You may see a 1, 2, 3, 4 or asterisk.

If you have an asterisk or questions about Block 34, ask your Human Resources department to tell you the service type.


The Department of Defense and other agencies have exceptions to these rules. For example:

  • If you have Tenure: 0 and Position occupied: 1, you're a current temporary employee.
  • If you have Tenure: 3 and Position occupied: 1, you're a current term employee.

If you see a combination of numbers you don't understand, ask your Human Resources department.

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