Excess contributions


Q. I am a CSRS employee age 66 with the four years of military buy back. In August 2019 I will be maxed out at 41 years 11 months. Can I get a refund on the military buy back? And what happens to it if I work longer than the 41 years 11 months?

A. When you retire, any excess contributions will be returned to you with the option of purchasing additional annuity benefits, which aren’t subject to the 80 percent earned annuity limit. For more information about how those excess contributions would be treated, go to https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c031.pdf.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Eric Longenbach on

    There is an employee in my section that is tardy almost every work day of the week. It is very discouraging and demoralizing to those of us that play by the rules.

    As the boss is scheduled to report later in morning, he does not know or want to know what is going on. Who ever blows the whistle is sure to get thumped. What can be done about it? This has been going on for some time now.

    • It might be a good idea to keep a record of the times he arrives for work and when he leaves. If he’s getting credit for a full day’s work but isn’t putting in that much time, he’s defrauding the government. That information could be anonymously passed on to your boss, your boss’s boss, and your payroll office.

  2. In regards to the original post, the person asking the question should NOT have bought back that military time — unless he is also qualified for social security. If he knows he won’t be collecting social security, then it does him absolutely no good to buy that time back, because in his particular case, he will automatically be getting credit for the military time — regardless or whether or not he buys it back. That might have been why he was also questioning whether or not he could get a refund of the military time. Most agencies will allow for a refund of the military buy back money that he paid, he just needs to contact his HR office and ask for a military buy back specialist and explain his situation. It’s important he does this BEFORE he retires, as OPM will not refund any military buy back money — after he has already retired.

    But on the other hand, if he IS qualified for social security, then it is probably to his benefit to leave the military buy back as is – otherwise his pension would be reduced upon retirement — equal to the amount of time he served in the military.

Leave A Reply