Military buyback and VSIP


Q. I am a 53-year-old FERS employee who requested to buy back my military service time through payroll deductions. The intent was to retire at 62 from federal service, at which time the years of military service would have been completely bought back. Now, my agency is offering Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments. I am tempted to accept one and opt for a delayed retirement. I don’t believe the VSIP would affect my projected future retirement benefits (please verify that). However, must I continue to make monthly payments to the Office of Personnel Management to complete the buyback prior to age 62? Or can I wait until I have enough funds to pay the amount off all at once in the future before age 62? Or, lastly, can I essentially do nothing and request retirement at age 62 and the original amount of my payroll deductions would be deducted from my retirement annuity?

A. You would have to have completed the deposit no later than the date on which OPM completes the adjudication of your retirement application. If you don’t, you won’t receive any credit for that time and the money you already paid in will be refunded to you.


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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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