Q. 1. How are the days of active-duty service calculated?
2. Is that a one-to-one credit added to years of service?
3. Can you buy it back after you retire and adjust the annuity accordingly?
4. Can you buy back portions of it?
5. Can you pay in installments?
6. What percentage of military pay per year would you get in retirement? For CSRS, it is roughly 2 percent based on high-3; would it be calculated on actual salary back then or adjusted for inflation?
7. Any chance for a retroactive payment once established?
8. Will I lose any benefits if I do this?
9. Can I do this if I was not in the military long enough to earn a pension?
10. How does Social Security fit into this picture?
11. Can I get all three (FERS/CSRS, Social Security, military/Defense Department) separately? What is the penalty for collecting multiple pensions if done separately?
A. 1. The same as they are for civilian service. For example, if you were called to active duty on Dec. 1, 2009, and mustered out on Nov. 30, 2013, you’d get credit for four years.
4. Only if you had one or more breaks in service; then you could make a deposit for any particular segment.
6. Your total service, both actual and the amount for which you made a deposit, would be computed using the standard formula, which is based on your highest three consecutive years of average basic pay.
8. If you are receiving military retired pay, you’d have to waive that pay when you retire; if you were receiving reserve retired pay, you wouldn’t.
10. You would be entitled to the benefit you earned while covered by Social Security. However, if you were receiving an annuity from CSRS, you’d be subject to the windfall elimination provision. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who receives an annuity from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes and has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.
11. Yes, with the caveats mentioned above.