Q: I have 20 years and nine months of service as a military technician. I have switched to Active Guard Reserve status, and I have been on leave without pay for five years. If I decide to stay AGR can I draw 20.9 percent of my technician salary at 62, or another age? I don’t want to take a cash buyout now if I can defer it and receive 20.9 percent of my high-3 years sometime later. Could I possibly buy back the five years LWOP also, making it 25 years and nine months?
A: As a FERS employee with at least 20 years of actual service, you could apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. With 20 years and nine moths of service, your annuity would equal 20.75 percent of you high-3 on the day you went on LWOP. While you cannot make a deposit for the time you were in LWOP, a maximum of six months of LWOP in a calendar year is considered to be creditable service. Whether you could get credit for 30 months of LWOP (six months times five years) is something you’ll need to explore with your agency. It, in turn, may need to discuss the matter with OPM. If that time is creditable, your annuity would equal 24 percent of your high-3.