Military time


Q. In 1984, I “bought back” my four years of military time and have added 38 years of federal service to that. I plan on retiring in 11 months as a combined CSRS and FERS. When I paid for my military time, I paid $__X___ back, plus interest. Someone retired here this month and paid his military time with no interest, a difference of $3,000. Do you no longer have to pay interest? Can I get mine back?

A. No, the law hasn’t changed. Here’s how it works. No interest is charged if an employee makes a deposit within two years after the date he first becomes employed. If it isn’t completed in that two-year period, interest will be posted to his account one year after the two-year period. From that point forward, interest is added once a year. There are no exceptions.


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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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