No refund for military deposit


Q. I am 61 years old and in the Civil Service Retirement System. I have paid back my military deposit, and don’t have enough quarters/credits under Social Security to qualify. I am anticipating retiring when I am 62-plus, and don’t plan on working to earn quarters/credits under Social Security. I have heard that I can request a refund of my military deposit after I retire; is this correct? If so, who handles that request?

A. You were misinformed. You can’t get a refund of the deposit you made for your active-duty service. What’s done is done. If you retire at age 62 and aren’t eligible for a Social Security benefit at that time, you’ll never have to worry about losing those years and having your annuity recomputed. OPM only checks once with the Social Security Administration: at age 62, if you are already retired or when you retire, if it’s after you reach age 62. Note: The “no refund” rule doesn’t apply to employees who resign from the government and ask for a refund of all their retirement contributions or to those who have retired from active duty, make a deposit to get credit for that time, and, at retirement, decide not to waive their military retired pay.


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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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