Refund of military buyback deposit?


Q: I was active-duty Navy for five years, then worked for the U.S. Postal Service under the Federal Employees Retirement System for seven years, during which time I bought back my military time. After 9/11, I went back into military service (active-duty Army), and I will retire with 20 years active service. Who do I need to contact to get a refund of my deposit with the USPS?

A: While you can’t get a refund solely of your deposit for active-duty service, you can get a refund of all your contributions and deposits to the retirement fund. Download a copy of Standard Form 3106, Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions, fill it out, and send it to the Office of Personnel Management. Alternatively, you can leave that money in the retirement fund and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62.


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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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