Undoing a military buyback


Q: I was a federal employee for the better part of 1991-1997, during which time I made a deposit for a percentage of my base pay received during active-duty Army service that totaled $8,098.17. I then separated from civilian service and returned to active duty, where I remained until retirement in 2007. I am now a civilian employee again. I no longer intend to use my years of military service toward a civilian retirement. Is there any way I can have that deposit refunded, either now or when I retire as a civilian employee?

A: You could only receive a refund now if you separated from the government without being eligible to retire and were entitled to a refund of all your retirement contributions. On the other hand, if you choose not to waive your military retirement pay when you retire from your civilian job, you will receive a full refund of that deposit.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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