Q. If I pay about $4,000, I will have my 12 years of military service counted toward my FERS retirement. I got hurt at my federal job and I’m thinking about asking for FERS disability. One problem, I am a month shy of the 18 months required. Can I pay only a portion of the $4,000 (to have the month required), or do I have to pay the whole amount. Are we allowed to just pay part of the buy-back money?
A: First, you have to have 18 months of creditable civilian service under FERS to be eligible to apply for disability retirement. Active-duty service for which a deposit has been made doesn’t count toward meeting that requirement. Second, you can’t make a deposit that covers only a portion of a period of active-duty service. It’s all or nothing.