Q. I retired with 21-plus years of military service and am now a federal employee.
I retired about 13 years ago and have been collecting military retirement.
I have been a federal employee for about 11 years. Can I still buy back my military service? If so, would it be worth it, and how does that work?
A. Yes, you can make a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service.
To do that, you’ll need to complete a copy of Form RI-20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to the military finance center for your branch of service with a copy of your DD 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge. When you get that information, take it to your payroll office with a copy of your DD 214 and a Standard Form 3108.
Your payroll office will figure out how much you owe and arrange for you to make the deposit if you decide to do that.
If you make a deposit, you’ll get credit for your active-duty service in determining your total years of civilian service and have it used in the computation of your annuity. However, there’s a potential downside to making a deposit that you’ll have to consider. At retirement, you’ll have to waive your military retired pay. If you don’t, credit for that active-duty service will be eliminated and the amount you deposited returned to you, with accrued interest.