Retiring and military buyback


Q. I am 57 years old; have 29 years of federal service, which includes nine years of military service; and plan on retiring at age 60 or 62. Does it make financial sense to pay for the nine years of military service during the next three to five years before I retire?

A. Because you are a FERS employee, you don’t have 29 years of creditable service for retirement purposes; you have only 20. To get credit for those nine years of active-duty service in your annuity computation, you’d have to make a deposit to the retirement system, including accrued interest. Doing so would increase your annuity by 9 percent.


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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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