Refund of money paid toward military buyback


Q. I know a federal employee who retired from the military (E-6) with 20 years of service and was told while working in Germany that it was to his advantage to buy back his military time.  To date he has paid more than $2,800 toward his military deposit and owes over $7,000.  He realizes he was misinformed and wants to stop paying toward the military deposit. How can he go about stopping the military deposit and be refunded the money he has paid so far?

A. He can stop paying the military deposit any time he wants to. If he’d paying by check, he can stop doing that. If he’s doing it by payroll deduction, he can cancel that by going to his payroll office. There are only two ways he can get a refund of what he’s paid to date. First, if he leaves government before being eligible for civilian retirement, he can get a refund of all his contributions, both those he paid while covered by the civilian retirement system and his deposit. Second, when he retires from his civilian employment. Because he didn’t complete his military deposit, he would receive a refund of that money.


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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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