Military buyback


Q. I am a 61 year-old retired reservist and a FERS employee. I’ve not yet retired from the federal government and want to buy back my military years before I retire. I believe I’m eligible to do that before I retire from the federal government. I do not plan on applying for Social Security until I’m full retirement age (66). I’m attempting to obtain my financial records so I can calculate how much I will have to deposit to buy those years.  Can you help?

A. You’ll need to complete Form RI-90-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to your branch of service along with a copy of your DD Form(s) 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge, or similar document. When you get a reply, take it to your local payroll office, along with a copy of your DD 214 or similar, and a Standard Form 3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment. They can determine how much you would need to deposit to get credit for your active-duty service. You can get a copy of RI-90-97 and the SF 3108 by going to and clicking on Forms.


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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