FERS impact on military deposit


Q. I’m debating whether buying back my military time will be worth the cost, taking into consideration the changes to the FERS program. I have three years as a federal employee. I completed the deposit May 1, which gives me 23 years toward my retirement. However, I am unsure if I will fall under the current .8 FERS contribution rate or the new 2.3 contribution rate recently approved.

I made my decision to buy back my time based 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 FERS?

A. You can relax. The increase in retirement contributions doesn’t apply to current employees, only to those first hired after December 31, 2012 and to those who are rehired after the passage of the law and have fewer than five years of creditable service.

If, as it appears, you are entitled to military retired pay, when you retire from the government, you’ll have to waive that pay. If you decide not to waive your military retired pay, you’ll receive a refund of your deposit, and those years won’t be used in the determination of your years of civilian service or in your annuity computation.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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