Military service deposits and deferred retirement


Q. I only paid part of my buy back for my military time and applied for deferred retirement from civil service in September 2018. I just got a letter from the Office of Management and Budget telling me that they have refunded my partial payment to get credit for my military time and that my claim was denied. Not counting my military time, I had 10½ years in civil service. Because I have been disabled for some time I have been receiving Social Security and I am 30 percent service-connected from the military, so I do receive a disability check from there. Will I receive a retirement check from OPM for my civil service time?

A. Because you hadn’t completed your deposit to get credit for your active-duty service before you left government, OPM couldn’t give you any credit for that time. That’s why they refunded the partial payment you had sent them. If you didn’t ask for a refund of your retirement contributions when you left, you’ll be entitled to a deferred annuity when you reach age 62. To apply, go to, click on forms, download a copy OPM Form 1496A, Application for Deferred Retirement (CSRS) or Retirement and Insurance Form RI-92-19. Application for Deferred or Postponed Retirement (FERS). Complete the form and send it to OPM. The address is on the form.


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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