Break in service and buyback


Q. I am under FERS. I worked for the Defense Department from 1987 to 1992, and left the government work. I later returned to DoD in 2005 and have been working there since. My service computation date is Aug. 23, 2000. When I left in 1992, I cashed out the retirement fund. Would I be eligible to buy back the time I cashed out in 1992 for five years of service I had accrued? If so, how could I do it?

A. Yes, you can. Just fill out a copy of Standard Form 3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment, indicating that you want to redeposit the money that was refunded to you, and give it to your personnel office so they can certify it. They’ll forward the form to the Office of Personnel Management. When OPM processes the application, they’ll send you a bill and instructions for making payments. You can get a copy of the 3108 in your personnel office or download a copy by going to, 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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