Military buyback


Q: I am a CSRS employee working for the Air Force and I have a question about military buyback. I was first employed by the federal government in 1975 and am eligible for retirement in September 2010 when I turn 55. From everything I’ve heard, when I become eligible for Social Security I will take a reduction in my annuity for my time in the military because I did not buy it back.

A: Because you were first hired before Oct. 1, 1982, you’ll receive credit for your period of active duty military service when your annuity is computed. However, if you don’t make a deposit for that time, plus accrued interest, and are eligible for a Social Security benefit at age 62 (or when you retire, if it’s after you reach age 62), those years will be removed and your annuity reduced accordingly. The reduction would be approximately 2 percent for each year of active duty service that was eliminated (1/6 percent per month).


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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