Military buyback


Q. What are my chances at an appeal next February when the Office of Personnel Management tries to reduce my CSRS by eight years since I didn’t buy back my military time. I have conflicting emails from OPM legal — one saying I would get another opportunity to buy back and one saying no. I was ill informed by my agency and advised against buying back my military time as I was told most of it was junior enlisted time and would not add much to my retirement. I think my agency failed me in properly instructing me on the benefits and what I will lose it could be up to $3,000 a month. If you can refer me to a legal firm which handles this type of case I would be ever so grateful.

A. The reduction in your annuity is a matter of law from which there is no administrative appeal. You can, of course, file a suit in federal court to have that requirement waived. However, you’ll first have to consult with an attorney who is familiar with federal benefits and have him evaluate the merits of your case. We aren’t able to recommend law firms for that purpose.


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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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