Refund of military buyback deposit?


Q: I was active-duty Navy for five years, then worked for the U.S. Postal Service under the Federal Employees Retirement System for seven years, during which time I bought back my military time. After 9/11, I went back into military service (active-duty Army), and I will retire with 20 years active service. Who do I need to contact to get a refund of my deposit with the USPS?

A: While you can’t get a refund solely of your deposit for active-duty service, you can get a refund of all your contributions and deposits to the retirement fund. Download a copy of Standard Form 3106, Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions, fill it out, and send it to the Office of Personnel Management. Alternatively, you can leave that money in the retirement fund and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62.


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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


  1. Refund of Post-1956 Military Deposit: This situation is very close to my situation. When applied for retirement from USPS was told to submit form for the Post-1956 Military Deposit refund but was not told there was another option that you could leave in and apply for an annuity at age 62; however my question is why OPM not required to pay accrued interest after payroll deductions are completed for the Post-1956 Military Deposit. In my situation completed payroll deductions 10/23/1992 but refund was the total at 10/23/1992 with no interest on the deposit when refund was paid 06/09/2011. OPM CSRS and FERS Handbook Refunds Chapter 32 does not cover any interest that OPM received while using my deposit. Went to customer service desk every six months with a request for interest refund with no response until late 2019 that no interest would be paid.

    refund deposit that included interest at the time decision was made to participate in the military deposit but not any interest that accrued after deposit was refunded after payroll deductions on 10/23/92 through 06/09/2011.

    • What you were told is correct. There is no provision in law that would allow interest to be paid on deposits made to get credit for active duty service in the armed forces.

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