Military buy back


Q: I am currently making payments to buy back my military service time so that it can be counted toward my FERS retirement and want to know if I can now make a partial withdrawal to pay a Defense Finance and Accounting Services debt? I have been making payments toward a military deposit for more than four years and only have less than a year until I have finished paying the amount requested, but now am faced with a debt action for an erroneous payment that happened over three years ago. I understand I have alternative options — i.e. hearing, waiver — but would like to know if this option exists. As I have not completed paying the full military deposit, can I now request some of these funds to pay DFAS? If I can, what is the penalty by taking this route?

A: No, you can’t make a partial withdrawal of your deposit. In fact, the only way you could get a refund of your deposit would be to resign from the government before you were eligible to retire and receive a refund of all your contributions to the retirement fund.


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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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