LWOP and FERS contribution

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Q. Several years ago, I was granted 16 months of leave without pay for a medical condition. While I was on LWOP, I made no contributions to FERS so I assume I should notify my Human Resources Office to buy back this time. Is this correct? If so, is there a specific form to complete? I recently bought back 25 months of active-duty military service so I assume LWOP would be handled in a similar manner.

A. An aggregate nonpay status of six months in any calendar year is creditable service. Coverage continues at no cost to you while in a nonpay status. When you are in a nonpay status for only a portion of a pay period, your retirement deductions are adjusted in proportion to your basic pay. If your LWOP exceeded six months in any calendar year, you’d have to make a deposit to the retirement fund to get credit for that time.

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