Q. I am a FERS employee and retired from the military. I’ll have 18 years of service by the end of August 2017. I never bought back my military time. Is that something that I can do now, or is it too late?
A. No, it’s not too late. However, to get credit for that time you’d need to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and, when you retire, waive your military retired pay. To find out what you’d owe, complete OPM form RI 20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it, along with a copy of your DD 214, to the military finance center for your branch of service. When you receive that estimate, take it to your payroll office, along with copies of your DD 214 and a Standard Form 3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment, and ask for an estimate of the amount you’d owe, plus accrued interest. Once you have that information, you can decide if the benefit is worth the cost. (The OPM and standard forms are available for download at www.opm.gov. Click on Forms.)