Buyback refund


Q: I was in the Navy for five years. I then worked at the U.S. Postal Service under FERS for seven years, during which time I bought back my military time with the deposit. After Sept. 11, 2001, I went into the Army and I will retire with 20 years active service. Who do I need to contact to get a refund for my five years deposit with the postal service?

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


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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