Military buyback


Q. I am a 54-year-old federal government employee with 18 years of service (come October). I plan to retire at age 62, and am curious about whether or not to buy back four years of military time. I got out of the military in November 1980 and am curious how much this would cost.

A. To find out how much you would owe, complete Form RI-20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to the finance office for your branch of service along with a copy of your DD 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge. When you get a reply, take that letter and a copy of your DD 214 and Standard Form 2803 (CSRS) or 3108 (FERS) to your local payroll office. They can estimate the amount of your deposit, including interest. Then you can decide if what you would gain in the form of additional annuity would be worth making the deposit. Note: the RI and Standard Forms are available at, click on Find Form(s).


About Author

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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