Military credit


Q: I have three periods of military service for which I am required to pay a deposit under “Catch 62.” The first period, 1969 to 1972, I paid for when it came due in 1986. This bought me a period of about 2.6 years. Later I was mobilized for operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990 to 1991; and Bosnia in 1997; for an additional eight and seven months each. I plan to work off the additional time by delaying my retirement for 15 months or more. When I discussed this plan with our HR office (SSA HQ) I was told that I may not be able to keep the original 2.6 years I’ve already redeemed if I do not completely pay off all three periods of active duty. Is this true? I’m not too disturbed by this, since if I work the extra 15 months anyway they will all be after my 42nd anniversary with the federal government. The excess CSRS deposits I make during that time will more than cover the entire amount I expect to owe. When the time comes to crunch the numbers, that option may even be more cost effective.

A: No, it isn’t true. When you have more that one period of active duty service, you can select which one or ones for which you want to make a deposit. The time for which you already made a deposit is “in the bank” and can’t be affected by what you do about the other two periods of active-duty service.


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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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