Counting military service toward retirement


Q: I read something in Reg Jones’ column in the Oct. 4 issue of Federal Times that I would like more information about. The district office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in San Francisco, my employer, no longer has a personnel specialist. I was hired by EEOC in February 1993. I retired from the Navy Reserve in 1995, and have just recently begun to draw retired reserve pay at age 60. I plan to retire from EEOC at the end of 2014. I will be 64 years old and have 21 years’ civilian service then. Questions: May I make a deposit to have my 13 years of active military duty (already figured into my Navy Reserve retirement) count toward my Federal Employees Retirement System retirement from EEOC? Who calculates the amount of the deposit? Can I have it deducted from my paycheck so that it will be paid up by the time I retire? If it is deducted from my paycheck, does that reduce my taxable income by a corresponding amount? How do I  start the process of paying a deposit for FERS retirement credit?

A: Yes, you can make a deposit for any periods of active-duty service by making a deposit to the civilian retirement fund. To find out how much you owe, you’ll need to complete Form RI 20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to the finance center for your branch of service along with a copy of your DD Form 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge. When the answer comes back, take it to your local payroll office along with a Standard Form 3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment, and a copy of your DD 214. They’ll calculate what you owe and make arrangements for you to make the deposit by payroll deduction, if you decide that’s what you want to do. You can get copies of the RI 20-97 and SF 3108 from your personnel office or download them at http://www.opm.govforms. Note: Making a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service wouldn’t reduce your taxable income.


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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

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