Military buyback


Q. I’m debating whether buying back my military time is worth the cost with the changes to the current FERS program. I have three years as a federal employee. I will complete the deposit on May 1, which will give me 23 years toward my retirement. However, I am unsure if I will fall under the current 0.8 percent FERS contribution program or the new 2.3 percent contribution program recently approved.  I made my decision to buy back my time base on the old retirement system. Now I think I may have wasted my money. Can you provide some insight on where I will fall in the FERS retirement system?

A. The new law doesn’t apply to currrent employees, only those first hired on or after January 1, 2013, and those returning to federal service that have fewer than 5 years of credtiable service.


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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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