Military buyback and RIF before vesting


Q. I am a career conditional employee with 1½ years total civilian service time who is eligible to buy back my military time. Due to the current budget constraints, I fear that I could be subject to a reduction in force. If I buy back my time and am RIF’d prior to completing my five years of civilian service that are required to be vested in FERS, what happens to my military deposit?

A. You’ll have a choice to make. You can either ask to have that money refunded to you or you can leave it in the fund. If you ask for a refund and later return to government service, you can always redeposit the money.


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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